Plato urges women to speak out

Concerning high levels of violence, Plato cites the need for women to come forward.

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato addresses the media on 21 August 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Community Safety MEC has called on women in the Western Cape to no longer turn a blind eye to crime.

Dan Plato has also expressed concern about high levels of violence committed against women on a daily basis.

He addressed dozens of women at a special interfaith prayer service yesterday which was held to commemorate the start of women's month.

It forms part of a series of events which lead up to women's day next Friday.

Plato says women should no longer suffer in silence.

"We can create a much better society if we really know what's going on, what is the extent of the problem and the situation. If women can assist us by beginning to speak out because help is there."

Western Cape police and various government departments said this week they are very concerned about the high prevalence of domestic violence and rape in the province.

The Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JPCS) cluster, which includes the South African Police Service (SAPS), Justice Ministry among others, has identified 16 areas in the Cape where these crimes happen most.

On Tuesday, the JCPS unveiled its plan for the upcoming women's month where it will be hosting several workshops and events in high risk areas.

The Justice Department's Hisham Mohamed says, "These 16 areas have now been targeted in the form of various programmes ranging from public information to workshops around domestic violence in particular."