Prosecutors are islands of comfort in a sea of trauma

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Prosecutors are islands of comfort in a sea of trauma

Sexual offences prosecutors are devoted law enforcers who strive to give GBV victims the best service they can

Reporter

Teddy bears and colouring books are part of an arsenal deployed by a dedicated team of specialised prosecutors and volunteers determined to protect society from predators targeting women and children, often in their own families.

This, despite facing huge internal hurdles, one of the biggest being a DNA backlog which makes it difficult to prove abuse allegations, especially when it is a child’s word against an adult such as the father or uncle. In May, police minister Bheki Cele told the national assembly that SA has a 36,626 case backlog for DNA analysis, including cases linked to rape, gender-based murder and domestic abuse.

But a group of law enforcement officials in the Western Cape has been so successful – against the odds – in supporting victims of gender-based violence that their system has now been implemented at all sexual offences courts countrywide...

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