Vhembe do­mes­tic abuse in the spot­light


THE fam­ily of a young woman al­legedly mur­dered by her boyfriend of only a few months be­lieve the po­lice have failed them and their lives are now also in dan­ger.

Por­tia Rasilavhi, 35, of Nzhelele Vil­lage out­side Louis Trichardt was bru­tally killed a month ago – al­legedly by her boyfriend of five months. Her body was dis­cov­ered in­side the sus­pect’s house in Nzhelele.

Her mother, Joyce, said they be­lieve the man might also at­tack them.

“The po­lice are not do­ing enough to ar­rest him. I fear that he might come af­ter us as he is still on the run. There have been re­ports of him be­ing spot­ted in our vil­lage,” she said.

“It has been hard try­ing to con­sole her daugh­ter since we learnt about the mur­der. What hurts the most is that Por­tia was a sin­gle par­ent, and now her daugh­ter must grow up with­out both par­ents.

“I have not slept in weeks. How do I sleep know­ing that the per­son who killed my daugh­ter is still out there on the streets and the po­lice are say­ing and do­ing noth­ing?” she asked.

Four women have been killed in the Vhembe re­gion in re­cent months – all al­legedly by their boyfriends. The killings prompted a group of women to go to the Vhembe Dis­trict Of­fices and hand over a mem­o­ran­dum of their griev­ances to the ex­ec­u­tive mayor.

Their de­mands in­cluded that the of­fice ini­ti­ate a struc­tured moral re­gen­er­a­tion pro­gramme that would run in schools and com­mu­nity struc­tures and a call for the po­lice be held to ac­count for all pend­ing cases of women and child abuse in the area.

Read­ing out the mem­o­ran­dum at the march, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sur­vivor Ri­nae Sen­gani en­cour­aged abused women to speak up and walk away be­fore they get killed.

“Our march here is to in­spire hope and to let young girls know they don’t need to suf­fer in si­lence any­more. We’re say­ing speak up and walk away,” said Sen­gani.

“There are many women who are still afraid to talk be­cause they are heav­ily de­pen­dent on their male mon­sters for daily sur­vival. This call, there­fore, also reaches be­yond abuse. It is ask­ing for women to be em­pow­ered through ed­u­ca­tion and sus­tain­able jobs.”

Lim­popo po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Moat­she Ngoepe said more re­sources had been as­signed to the Rasilavhi mur­der case in a push to ap­pre­hend the sus­pect. – Health-e News

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