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Time to police the worst offenders

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Violence against women is not going to stop if men continue to perceive women as their personal commodities

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THE 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children is in its first week, and we are already being reminded that violence against women is the single most serious problem facing us as a country.

At the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday, a policeman shot and killed his estranged wife and her brother before turning the gun on himself. He later died in hospital from self-inflicted injuries. The couple were in court to finalise their divorce after being separated for two years.

If the walls of the courtroom could not protect the victim, we wonder about the level of violence that she was subjected to behind closed doors.

To bring attention to domestic violence, family members and society must stop protecting the perpetrators.

Violence against women is not going to stop if men continue to perceive women as their personal commodities.

The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, cannot expect the police to take cases of violence against women seriously when most of them are the perpetrators, in their own homes.

An integrated campaign involving other spheres of government has to conduct an in-depth study aimed at stemming the tide of women abuse among members of the SAPS.

To demonstrate his commitment to eradicating gender-based violence, Cele must make domestic violence cases a dismissible offence for officers.

The tendency to treat gender-based violence as a private matter between two people must end, because most of these cases have tragic consequences.

If we do not immediately implement these preventative measures, innocent women will continue to die during and after the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.