South Africa: Church and Families Must Step in to Help Halt 'Scary' GBV Stats, Says Shamila Batohi

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Shamila Batohi, the National Director for Public Prosecutions at the NPA, spoke to Daily Maverick's Ferial Haffajee about how the criminal justice system has failed women and how families and religious institutions need to play a role in ending the scourge of gender-based violence.

"The statistics are scary. Seven women and two children are killed every day. It is a war [on women and children] when you have seven women and children killed every day," said Shamila Batohi during Sunday's Women's Day webinar.

The high rates of gender-based violence should make us question what is happening with our society, in religious institutions and in families, said Batohi.

But Batohi said that there was good work being done in the courts to ensure perpetrators face the full might of the law.

"In the courts, we have really good conviction rates which are around 70% to 80%. In 2000 there was a 48% conviction rate based on the number of cases that ended up in court," said Batohi.

Batohi also added that more than a quarter of the people convicted of rape in 2018/19 received long sentences, ranging from 15 years to life imprisonment. In 2019/20 just under a third of offenders...

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