EDITORIAL | Long queues of women seeking protection orders are ...

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EDITORIAL | Long queues of women seeking protection orders are unacceptable

We have made some strides in the fight against gender-based violence, but the conviction rate is far too low

Editorial

“We know of cases of women who were killed while they had a protection order in hand.” 

These are the chilling words of domestic violence lawyer Brenda Madumise-Pajibo, who in an interview with the Sunday Times (https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/news/2021-08-08-im-very-scared-of-being-killed-no-womens-day-relief-for-the-countless-brutalised-in-sa/) sketched a grim picture of a broken system, often failing to protect women from their abusers. The journalist spent a weekday morning at a Johannesburg magistrate’s court with women queuing outside for protection orders. Their stories are tales of vulnerability and despair. As SA marked Women’s Day on Monday, this article on the red tape needed to secure protection orders highlighted how often we fail to create safer spaces for women.

The statistics say it all: Between January and March, more than 9,500 people (https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-05-14-more-than-9500-rapes-in-three-months-cele-vows-crackdown-on-gbv/) were raped. More than 120,000 gender-based violence cases (https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2020-09-01-shocking-stats-on-gender-based-violence-during-lockdown-revealed/) were recorded in the first three weeks of the Covid-19 hard lockdown last year. GBV has been described as SA’s second pandemic...

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