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Violence prevention possible with right funding - experts

Over 700 local and international researchers have gathered for the Sexual Violence Research Initiative Forum under way at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Police arrested one man who was involved in a shootout with officers after they approached him and another suspect in Nyanga on Saturday, 21 September 2019. Picture: Saps/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Experts on Thursday said violence prevention was possible with the right political will and funding.

Over 700 local and international researchers have gathered for the Sexual Violence Research Initiative Forum under way at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

The Global What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls programme is also part of the event and is managed by the Gender & Health Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council.

Research uptake manager at the council Leane Ramsoomar stressed the importance of highlighting and eradicating gender-based violence.

“We have, over the last six years, been generating evidence from 15 interventions in certain countries in low- and middle-income settings. We are certainly looking at what drives violence to prevent it by testing interventions in various settings, schools and families and within the context of interventions for couples.”

MAYBE LEGALISE DRUGS TO FIGHT GANGSTERISM

Crime experts said drugs should not be legalised for commercial purposes, but the move could help fight gangsterism.

The proposal is contained in Professor Don Pinnock's response to the national anti-gang strategy.

He argued this would remove the market for drugs, which could bring down the level of violence in some communities.

Professor Pinnock said the drug trade was fuelling gang wars in Cape Town.

He said given the realities of why many people were engaging in the trade on a smaller scale, it was vital that any reform be implemented with social policies.

These policies should be targeted at directly addressing unemployment, inequality, violence and social marginalisation.

He said for many poor communities, illicit drug activity was an important source of income.

Pinnock was also proposing the scope of drugs be slowly withdrawn from police and the criminal justice system and be moved to health and other social sectors.

However, he said government should focus more on creating economic opportunities.

But Pinnock warned government had a long way to go as it needed to overcome the mistrust created by the criminalisation of the drug trade.

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