The latest statistics from the Gender-based Violence (GBV) Command Centre show that, as regulations were eased through a phased approach, the number of calls to the centre decreased.
As of 19 June, the centre had received a total of 57 660 telephone calls, 7 462 Please Call Mes and 3 110 text messages.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a risk-adjusted strategy earlier this year, which introduced a phased approach to five levels of lockdown that would allow for economic activity to continue while managing Covid-19.
During Level 5 of the lockdown, between 27 March to 30 April, the centre received 22 112 telephone calls, 2 551 Please Call Mes and 1 231 text messages. A total of 842 tickets logged dealt with GBV, while 2 674 dealt with non-GBV issues.
Back at work
As regulations eased to Level 4 lockdown between 1–31 May, the centre received 13 752 telephone calls, 1 021 Please Call Mes and 569 text messages. Approximately 585 of the tickets logged were GBV-related, while 1 387 were non-GBV.
During the period of 1-19 June, under Level 3 of the lockdown, the centre received 8 205 calls, 1 023 Please Call Mes and 359 text messages. A total of 406 tickets logged related to GBV, while 689 were non-GBV issues.
Department of social development spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said on Tuesday that the drop in figures through the various levels of lockdown could be attributed to “the fact that restrictions were eased and some partners may have gone back to work”.
But, despite fewer calls being made, there has been a recent increase in the number of GBV cases.
Ramaphosa addressed the nation on 18 June on the recent spate of gender-based violence incidents, and said the country had seen no fewer than 21 women and children being murdered over the past few weeks.
The president’s comments came as the country mourned the deaths of Tshegofatso Pule, Naledi Phangindawo, Nompumelelo Tshaka, Nomfazi Gabada, Nwabisa Mgwandela, Altecia Kortjie and Lindelwa Peni, and many other women at the hands of men.