And we are losing this battle, not because we are weak, but instead because we are an ill-prepared army. We go into the battle with Goliath, but unlike David who had a sling, a stone and God on his side, we just have policies that are yet to yield the intended results”
DESPITE having mechanisms in place to fight gender-based violence and femicide, women in the Northern Cape and across the country are still victims of brutal violence.
The Northern Cape MEC for Social Development, Nontobeko Vilakazi, yesterday launched a victim support group in Kimberley following the end of Women’s Month.
Vilakazi said the current picture of violence against women shows that the perpetrators still have the upper hand in this battle.
“And we are losing this battle, not because we are weak, but instead because we are an ill-prepared army. We go into the battle with Goliath, but unlike David who had a sling, a stone and God on his side, we just have policies that are yet to yield the intended results,” she said.
She said billions of rand are being spent to eradicate this problem.
Vilakazi, however, added that the issue needed an urgent change of strategy.
“As I was going through documents, I came across a mixture of good and bad. Good in the fact that we have extremely good policies in place, but bad in the fact that we were found wanting when it comes to implementation.
“This means that our plans, no matter how great, are useless unless they are backed by action. The Victim and Survivor Support Group will go a long way in addressing these challenges.
“Government has instituted some strategic measures to ensure that victims of gender-based violence are protected. The two main documents in this regard are the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on Gender-Based Violence and the Victims Support Services Bill (VSS).”
According to Vilakazi, one key aspect of the VSS Bill is to put victims at the centre of the criminal justice system by ensuring that they are entitled to the same rights as the perpetrators.
“The other important part of this bill is how it addresses the challenges of secondary victimisation, which should be prevented at all costs.”
Vilakazi also called on members of the community to play an active role in the fight against this social ill.