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GBV victims still not receiving required assistance from police, says NGO

According to the National Shelter Movement, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have seen the rate of abuse increase, with many shelters inundated with requests.

FILE: A South African police station: Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Shelter Movement said that police were not always helpful in assisting survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).

The NGO is affiliated with 94 shelters for abused women and children nationwide.

According to the movement, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have seen the rate of abuse increase, with many shelters inundated with requests.

The organisation's Mariam Mangera said that there were still too many incidents where GBV survivors were either turned away at police stations or not receiving the required assistance.

"We have police stations that are refusing to assist because they do not have FCS units. The police station they [GBV victims] approach has to be the one to open these cases. A lot of times, we're having to beg them to help."

Mangera said that she wanted authorities to help prevent further incidents like this from happening.

Police have yet to respond to the claims.

She added that the NGO's newly launched hotline that went live last month was proving to be useful, as survivors used the resource to seek help.

The toll-free helpline that's manned by three social workers receives about 280 calls per week.

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