New GBV laws heading to Parliament, but will they go far enough to save lives?
A review of the laws relating to gender-based violence and sex crimes is due before Parliament in the coming weeks.
They form part of a broader emergency plan by government, announced in September last year, to urgently deal with the scourge of violent crimes perpetrated against women and children.
In his State of The Nation Address (Sona) in February President Cyril Ramaphosa said the review of legislation would include the tightening of bail and sentencing conditions in cases that involve gender-based violence.
Public comment on the changes of the Domestic Violence Act and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act was opened at the start on March 2 and closed on March 31.
Kerryn Rehse from the Mosaic Training and Healing Centre in Wynberg told CapeTalk's Africa Melane that the response has been encouraging.
I know that there was wide take up of that call for comments.Kerryn Rehse, Advocacy, Policy and Research Office - Mosaic Training and Healing Centre
Part of the President's emergency response plan to gender-based violence was that there would be legislative reform and Rehse says she's pleased that action has been taken in that regard:
I must give credit to the Department of Justice and Correctional Services they have pushed through very quickly to get this legislation in place.Kerryn Rehse, Advocacy, Policy and Research Office - Mosaic Training and Healing Centre
However, despite action the amendments being made to the current laws, Rehse says the biggest challenge is practically implementing the legislation.
At a station level or court level or community level, we don't really see the implementation of the legislation.Kerryn Rehse, Advocacy, Policy and Research Office - Mosaic Training and Healing Centre
Listen to the full conversation:
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