TEARS Foundation (Transformed Education about Rape and Sexual Abuse) raises concern and outrage over the statistics on police rape incidences in South Africa, especially regarding many of those people in custody. This follows a statement by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) that it is investigating more than 60 rape cases involving police officers.
Mara Glennie on behalf of TEARS decried a recent report submitted to South African Parliament by IPID which cites many rape cases were perpetrated by police officers between April and September of this year. Ms Glennie is the founding member of TEARS Foundation.
The information was divulged in a document tabled by IPID recently during a briefing of the South African Parliament’s police portfolio committee. According to the statistics disclosed, 66 rape cases, allegedly committed by police officers have been reported between April and September 2014, compared to 53 similar cases during the same period last year.
Ms Glennie pointed out that one can safely assume that the real figures are significantly higher as most victims to these kinds of sexual offences never report the cases for fear of victimisation, ridicule and social rejection. “These are the very people victims of sexual abuse should turn to for protection. The high incidence of crime amongst member of the South African Police Services is already a major cause for concern by all law abiding citizens”, she said. “When the most vulnerable in society and those who already suffer the brunt of our deeply rooted patriarchal system cannot even rely on law enforcement officers to protect them, we have become a very sad society indeed.”
Of the 66 rapes mentioned in the report, 25 were allegedly committed by police officer(s) whilst on “duty”. This is an increase of 56% on similar cases a year ago, while the number of complaints of rape by police officers had increased by 25%. There have also been 37 reported rape cases against off-duty police officers between April and September 2014.
The chairperson of IPID, Francois Beukman, said the Directorate is shocked by the number of rape cases involving police officers, and such officers did not belong in the SA Police Service. The Directorate would draft and submit proposals to Parliament that would ensure harsher sentences for police officers found guilty of rape and related crimes.
With the international 16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence against Women and Children due to kick off next week, this places yet another important focus on the scourge of rape and sexual abuse in South Africa. TEARS calls on Government to give this report immediate and urgent attention and to demonstrate its political will to address this and other issues on sexual crimes as a matter of priority.
Ms Glennie said the 16 Days of Activism Campaign is designed to create awareness on the negative impact of violence on women and children. She said; “We at TEARS call on the business sector work together to broaden the impact of the campaign by supporting The TEARS Foundation as they help victims of Rape and Sexual Abuse.”
Among other businesses, Tsebo Outsourcing Group has taken a stand against this scourge to our society by becoming a patron of TEARS. Mr Clive Smith the Group’s Chief Executive Officer said; “We have provided TEARS with free offices and infrastructure so they may provide their vital services efficiently.” Mr. Smith encourages other business decision makers to take up the challenge and support TEARS financially or printing the TEARS contact details on their staff’s payslips and adding to their staff handbook.
TEARS, a national Non-Profit Organisation that works to break silence over sexual violence has developed an Emergency Mobile Assistance number. Contact TEARS on (*134*7355#) or by email to Ms Mara Glennie: firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is: http://www.tears.co.za/
The TEARS Foundation was founded in 2012 and specialises in accessible assistance and support network for survivors of rape and abuse. TEARS strives to be an agent of transformation for all aspects of education about Rape and sexual abuse in order to promote positive change in the values and attitudes of the South African society, where the right to say “NO” is upheld as a basic human right. TEARS offer a range of educational services that aim to change attitudes and behaviour towards rape and abuse.
N.B. Courtesy of TEARS Foundation 19 November 2014