April 2021 marks the officialinternational 20th commemoration of Sexual Assault Awareness month (but note this initiative has been around longer than 20 years.)
Individuals advocating for sexual assault prevention and against gender-based violence (GBV) have been around for as long there have been people trying to make this world a better place.
Ending GBV and sexual assault is a world-wide effort and responsibility, so the mission of this month is to raise awareness about violence viz. the immoral use of force – both physical and sexual.
Even our simple efforts were stopped – Facebook took down our femicide awareness video!
In South Africa: sexual offence reports increased by 5%, with 12,218 rape cases recorded between October and December 2020. The government’s GBV and Feminicide Command Centre, a call centre to support victims, recorded more than 120,000 cases in the first three weeks of the lockdown.
One month isn’t enough time to solve this serious issue, but it is a good place to start. This April, do your part to end sexual assault and GBV.
Provincial cabinet minister, Albert Fritz, said “…we need a functional criminal justice system that truly serves the victims of violence and crime.
“It is unacceptable that victims of rape and GBV are subjected to secondary trauma of this kind because of a criminal justice system that is inadequately geared to ensuring that perpetrators are not only charged but convicted on the basis of reliable and credible investigated evidence.”
News24 reported that Major-General Edward Ngokha, head of the National Forensic Science Laboratories (NFSL), said that there has not been any processing during January and February. The backlog in criminal investigations is now over 172 000 cases.
“Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11
Charl, Olga, and Ashley.