The United Nations Women’s Rights Committee has found that South Africa’s low levels of prosecution and conviction in domestic violence cases has exposed survivors to repeated abuses and resulted in the violation of women’s fundamental rights.
According to official figures, out of 143, 824 requests for protection orders in 2018-2019, only 22,211 were granted, said the report, which was published on Monday.
In many cases, the protection order just called for the abuser to sleep in a different room, in the same house the report added.
Harmful practices such as child marriage, abduction for marriage (“ukuthwala”) and polygamy or polygamous unions are the factors that contribute to domestic violence which many women and girls particularly in rural areas are victims of.
An attempt to and committing suicide, depression, trauma and anxiety are some of the effects of domestic violence that were suppressed with the use of drugs the report stated.
The report also noted that in many cases, women had been killed by their partners.
Some recommendations made by the committee includes effective law enforcement, policies ensuring adequate access to justice, protection and victim support services, and measures dismantling patriarchal attitudes and discriminatory stereotypes that legitimize domestic violence.