South Africa’s national lockdown due to COVID-19 has increased the rate at which domestic violence occurs, leaving women and children vulnerable, in danger and with no chance of escape from their abusers during the quarantine.
Police minister Bheki Cele confirmed that collectively, various police departments around the country received a sum of approximately 87 000 gender-based violence (GBV) complaints during the first week of the national lockdown. This upward trajectory is not an isolated incident but has been noted in multiple countries around the world. To deal with this drastic increase in the rate of GBV, Cele said the state has increased the number of units dedicated to dealing with the abuse of women and children.
As an organisation, we encourage keeping in touch with each other virtually during this 35-day lockdown period. It is a completely unprecedented situation characterised by economic uncertainty, financial and emotional strain. In addition to all of this, some women and children are facing particularly gruelling treatment in a space where they should feel safe and nurtured.
If you, or someone you know, needs help, please contact the GBV Command Center at 0800 428 428 or dial *120*786# from your phone.