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Study reveals core of gender-based violence in Bredasdorp

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The ‘superior’ role men assume in relationships is at the core of gender-based violence bedevilling the Bredasdorp community, a study has revealed.

Western Cape MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato said on Monday that the Bredasdorp community had been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the last few years, with three gender-based murders occurring in the town.

He said in a statement that the Departments of Community Safety and Social Development have been active in the town, to help the community deal with the issues.

The small Overberg farm community became a focus area after a number of horrific murders on young people.

Child murders

These include the murder of 5-year-old Kayda Williams in February, whose body was found in a bushy area in the town after she was reported missing.

Exactly two years before, 17-year-old Anene Booysen’s murder shocked the world after she was raped and disembowelled. She died in hospital in February 2013.

The latest murder victim is 14-year-old Elda Japhta, whose body was discovered hidden under a bed.

The man accused of killing her has abandoned his bid to be released on bail.

One of the interventions was a pilot study commissioned by the Department of Community Safety into Bredasdorp.

“An independent facilitator conducted 11 investigative consultations with community members, the youth, municipality and safety stakeholders,” said Plato.

“The most profound findings came from the Youth and Violence Prevention Summit which saw a focus on gender-based violence, especially on the role of men, in relationship violence.”

The study provides a chilling insight into the attitude of young men to the prospect of a woman cheating or ending a relationship with them. Reactions include:

– “Some men believed that a girlfriend needs to be punished when she cheats in the relationship”;
– “I will take revenge in whatever form”; or
– “I will date and have sex with her sister, cousin and her best friend… she won’t do that to me”.

“These examples of inter-personal violence are at the core of problems in many of our communities. These are problems that need sustained and long-term interventions from society as a whole to make a difference,” Plato said.

Outreach events

He said following the initial abduction charges in November 2014 of a local teenager, both the mother and daughter received support through the Department of Social Development’s Victim Empowerment Programme.

“Subsequent to the more recent arrest of the suspect in the alleged murder of the 14-year old victim [Elda Jaftha ], the mother has received counselling support from the social workers. The Department has a comprehensive record of the interventions done for her and her family to which the Department of Social Development would be able to provide more detail.”

Social Development’s NGO partner, Child Welfare South Africa (CWSA), provided child care and protection services to the family in terms of the Children’s Act.

The Department of Social Development also launched a local office in March 2015.

Plato said that for his office to be successful in the area, the community needed to make full use of it.

On Friday, the Department of Community Safety will conduct a youth-focussed safety outreach in Bredasdorp which forms part of a larger series of outreach events across the province. News24

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