Protection orders insufficient defence for abuse survivors

Angelique Clark-Abrahams and Leighandre Jegels were killed recently despite obtaining orders at police stations.

JOHANNESBURG - Protection orders have done little to curb gender-based violence in South Africa.

Angelique Clark-Abrahams and Leighandre Jegels were killed recently despite obtaining orders at police stations.

READ: Ramaphosa's top 10 quotes on gender-based violence

The government has promised more stringent protection of vulnerable women.

Abuse survivors shared their stories of how their partners influenced and controlled every aspect of their lives.

A 28-year-old, who asked to remain anonymous, said she didn't go to the police because she wanted to save her one-year relationship.

She said, “I didn’t want him to be arrested. As females, we sometimes have the belief that men abuse us because they love us.”

Celeste Samsodien said a protection order against her partner of seven years did nothing to spare her.

The man is now behind bars, but Samsodien's story could have been different if the criminal justice system had worked in her favour.

READ: Gender based violence: Batohi promises 'maximum sentence'

Samsodien said, “do you know how much courage it takes to get a protection order in the first place?"

"Once a woman goes for a protection order there should be some kind of a programme for the male to go to. We are taking all of the women out of their houses and putting them in shelters. the men are staying in their houses finding someone else to abuse.”

Lynn Sedres was shot several times by her ex-husband.

The man had been issued a protection order but went ahead anyway.

He is now in jail for attempted murder. 

The government says it will pull out all the stops to ensure women's safety.

Re-evaluating protection orders will be of utmost importance for defenceless women in the country –  an average of eight of them become victims of gender-based violence on a daily basis.

Source
eNCA