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Women mostly affected by abuse in church, MPs hear

The Commission for the Promotion And Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious And Linguistic Communities on Wednesday briefed Parliament's police committee on gender violence.

Picture: Freeimages.com

CAPE TOWN – Members of Parliament have heard how some religious leaders terrorise children and sexually violate girls.

The Commission for the Promotion And Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious And Linguistic Communities on Wednesday briefed Parliament's police committee on gender violence.

The committee received submissions from the police service, as well as various organisations on violence against women and children.

The commission’s chairperson, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, says she’s also been a victim of harassment and had to get a protection order against a religious leader.

“I have been harassed myself by a particular religious leader. I had to get a protection order. In my soul, it’s sitting very hard, seriously, getting a protection order against a man of God.”

The committee also heard from the mother of a girl, who was also abused by a religious leader.

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva says that women are mostly affected by abuse in churches.

“You got to churches and it’s mostly women. There’s a gender thing happening.”

The committee will now also consider submissions before taking a decision on what to do with some of the proposals.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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