66% of women don’t trust cops – sur­vey

The Sunday Independent - - METRO - MANYANE MANYANE

A SUR­VEY of women says most of its re­spon­dents would pre­fer to seek help from fam­ily and friends than re­port abuse that in­cludes sex­ual vi­o­lence to the po­lice.

The sur­vey con­ducted by 1st for Women In­sur­ance with over

1 200 women in­di­cates that 66% of re­spon­dents who were vic­tims said they would seek help from fam­ily rather than go to a po­lice sta­tion, while 54% said they would go to an ap­pro­pri­ate NGO.

The sur­vey was con­ducted to co­in­cide with the launch of the 16 Days of Ac­tivism Against Gen­der-Based Vi­o­lence cam­paign. It in­di­cates that al­co­hol abuse, prej­u­dice and sex­ism con­trib­uted to 32% of the abuse against the women sur­veyed.

“In­ter­est­ingly, the sur­vey also re­vealed that while 90% of the re­spon­dents be­lieved that bet­ter law en­force­ment was fun­da­men­tal to the long-term so­lu­tion of women abuse, the jus­tice sys­tem was also con­sid­ered to be bro­ken, with high lev­els of po­lice cor­rup­tion and no con­se­quences for per­pe­tra­tors,” said Casey Rausseau, a mar­ket­ing man­ager for the in­sur­ance com­pany.

Re­spond­ing to the sur­vey, Itume­leng Moloko, a coun­selling man­ager for NGO Peo­ple Op­pos­ing Women Abuse said: “It’s said that po­lice are not pro­tect­ing women and this is the rea­son women are no longer will­ing to re­port their cases at po­lice sta­tions. Again, the court process that they have to go through is also hec­tic.”

Mbuyiselo Botha, from NGO Sonke Gen­der Jus­tice, said po­lice were not help­ful to abuse vic­tims.

“We have seen po­lice, men and women, ask vic­tims in­ap­pro­pri­ate ques­tions and they suf­fered sec­ondary vic­tim­i­sa­tion. The ques­tions are also in­tru­sive in a sense that they are asked why the vic­tims were at the scenes at that time. Why were you drink­ing al­co­hol? Ac­tu­ally they are re­luc­tant to go to po­lice sta­tions. There is no level of em­pa­thy,” he said.

Po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Lun­gelo Dlamini said fam­i­lies who failed to re­port cases of sex­ual abuse may be com­mit­ting a crime “and any po­lice of­fi­cer who fails to regis­ter a com­plaint of sex­ual abuse or any com­mit­ted crime is act­ing against the SAPS code of con­duct”.

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