Since the lockdown commencement date, there has been a concern for those in quarantine with abusive spouses. To paint a picture, South Africa faces largely different challenges to a Western country that is facing a similar situation. As the home of one of the largest inequality gaps in the world. It was reported in 2019 that 56% of the population survived on R1,227 or less, month to month versus the top 10% that earned 65% of all income.
There are millions that live-in cramped conditions. This has proved to be a struggle with the lockdown forcing them to remain indoors. Tension is to be expected and keeping men home has already resulted in an increase in domestic violence.
As an already pretty violent society producing one of the globe’s highest murder rates, there is a concern for the safety of the public during this national lockdown. Due to issues of inequality, unemployment, poverty, etc. there are high chances of a continued increase in domestic violence cases.
On 5 April, it was reported by the Police Minister Bheki Cele that the SA Police Service received 2,320 gender-based violence complaints. The concern here is that this is 37% higher than the weekly average which is a steep rise by any standard.
Vulnerable citizens that are at risk of abuse can contact the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre for assistance during the national lockdown:
“[Phone] 0800 150 150, those who are feeling they are abused, especially women and children. The police will respond.” – Minister Cele.
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