Workshop on domestic violence

Ratlou Mabula
LEPHALALE — The Department of Safety, Security and Liaison, Health, Social Development and SAPS hosted a Domestic Violence Act (DVA) Stakeholder Awareness Workshop at Exxaro Hall in Marapong on Monday 6 March.
The workshop focused on domestic violence, emotional and financial abuse as well as date rape among others.
“When I say no, whether I say it smiling, with a serious face or not, I simply mean I am not ready today. Abuse also includes when you are in a relationship and you beat your partner when he/she declines to engage in a sexual act. A lot of times victims keep quiet about these kinds of things. These days there are even cases of man abuse and the victims usually shy away from reporting such abuse because they fear being mocked” said NF Mohale, a psychologist from Ellisras Hospital.
Mohale said abuse is abuse irrespective of gender. She said instead of keeping mum about abuse people should report it rather than to generalise that all men or women are the same.
In addition, she said domestic violence badly affects children.
One of the key societal challenges addressed was the negative impact domestic violence carries; which brings signs such as:

  • Isolation; where the victims begin to cut ties from participation with friends, family or colleagues;
  • Injury; where some victims hide their wounds from their close ones and lie about the cause of their injuries;
  • Personality changes; usually the source behind aggressiveness and behavioural change;
  • Drug and alcohol abuse – as some victims opt to relieve stress by drowning their sorrows.

The Department of Social Development emphasised that in abusive relationships there are disturbing factors which lead to red flag.
They are:

  • Being told that you are stupid;
  • Not allowing friends and relatives to visit a partner;
  • Being continuously insulted or belittled;
  • Going through financial abuse;
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions;
  • Being forcing to have sex because you were helped financially;

The department pleaded with the community to report such instances.
Sister department SASSA assured the community that on 1 April 2017 beneficiaries will continue receiving their grants. SASSA officials were however firm in saying that their agency has no contractual agreement with any loan shark or life cover institutions. They also criticised the misuse of social grants by parents who either use the child’s money for their own gain or for gambling.
Tattoos were discussed as a mark that identifies children linked to prison gangs.
Members of the community raised their own frustrations with mainly SAPS not reacting quickly to their calls and this resulting in mob justices taking place.
The discussions also included how inactive the Community Policing Forum is as some CPF members complained of the lack of identification and the means to call police in time of emergency.
The highlight of this workshop was a statement about Marapong not getting a satellite police station anytime soon as other areas like Steenbokpan are on the list to receive theirs.
Marapong satellite station was torched during an infamous March in September 2015.

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