DURBAN – KwaZulu Natal police arrested a total of 244 suspects for various gender-based crimes during the month of December.
According to KZN police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Nqobile Gwala, these crimes ranged from rape, statutory rape, kidnapping, abduction, human trafficking, attempted murder, assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, child neglect and indecent exposure.
The KwaZulu-Natal Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units worked tirelessly to arrest these perpetrators.
“They successfully secured 14 convictions which included seven life sentences and 99 years of imprisonment for the many suspects who appeared in various courts within the province,” said Gwala.
She said many of these cases were still pending in court.
Adding that in spite of iniatives like the 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children – a programme which aims to educate communities and encourage them to break the silence around sexual offences – levels of gender-based violence remained high.
“The KZN Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units are still inundated with high volumes of gender-based violence cases on a daily basis, despite numerous initiatives aimed at educating the public on the effects of these violent crimes.
“Women are still abused by their partners when they should be in the safety of their own homes, and many women are losing their lives at the hands of the very people who should be protecting them.”
She concluded that communities are encouraged to continue reporting crimes to police stations to curb the stigma attached to sexual offences.
“Often many people witness these abuses but fail to take steps to stop it. We urge women to not allow themselves to be trapped in abusive relationships which will see themselves as well as their children being harmed.”