VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRY FOR JUSTICE
By: Kwandokuhle Njoli
After being hit and dragged by her boyfriend for the second time, Yolanda Mzimela (22) decided to take action.
However she said that the process of opening the case was exhausting.
“I suffered immense trauma after someone I viewed as my equal hit me.
He physically dragged me out of his house in a cold wet night,” she explained.
“This was not the first time he had physically assaulted me. I couldn’t report him the first time because I had been drinking that night. I knew no judge was going to believe a drunk female’s word against a sober man in his home. I decided not to do anything about it,” Yolanda added.
Mzimela said that after the second attack in her boyfriend’s home in Durban North, she woke up the next morning to report the case to a police station near her home. She was allegedly told by police that she should report the case to the police station close to where the incident occurred.
“The process of reporting domestic violence is so long and draining. You’re already disturbed by the abuse and then you go to a doctor to get a form called the J88 to confirm that you’re hurt. After that you go back to the police station.
I constantly thought of giving up, as I was both emotionally and physically tired,” she said.
Zuzile Ngubane (28) said that she went to a police station at eNanda. Police allegedly told her they no longer take domestic violence cases in the area. Zuzile adds that they said it was a waste of their valuable time because after opening the case, victims would drop the charges.
“The more I had to go through these processes the more I felt the futility of it all. I was tired and bruised. I lost all the hunger I had for justice,” said Ngubane. “I was advised to go to court and make a protection order instead.”
Martha Abrahams from the Advice Desk for Abused Women, says that they often get calls from women who complained for not being heard by the justice system.
“We often advise women to take their matter to the police station and constantly check up on how far they are with their cases,” explained Abrahams.
Campaigns like 16 Days of Activism and Black Friday serve as tools to remind women that they do not have to withstand the injustice of being physically assaulted by their partners.
These campaigns are also said to remind men to stop women abuse. It is a man’s duty to protect a woman. It is heart breaking to see that some men are constantly doing the opposite.
As women we must stand together and fight for a violent-free country. Let us not stop crying out for help until we are heard.