A Heideveld woman has detailed the fear she and her children live in following the latest attack on her life, allegedly at the hands of her estranged husband.
In an attack last week, the woman, 40, was stabbed when she had gone to the shop for porridge for her children.
As the country marks 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), activists slammed Manenberg police and the justice system for failing the woman who has had an interdict against her estranged husband since 2013.
The victim, 40, said she is angered by the delay in justice.
“He has been harassing me since we separated. I had seven stitches in my head last year when he also assaulted me with a cup in front of my children.
And now this happened on Tuesday last week when I had gone to buy food for our children. He is roaming freely while I have to worry about my and my children’s safety. I know that he is in Heideveld.
“Currently I am keeping my children at home from school because I fear for their safety. I know that he is capable of harming them as well if he can’t get to me. He has made many threats of wanting to harm me and I have reported it, but nothing was done. What else must I do to be heard?”
Police spokesperson, Frederick van Wyk, confirmed no arrests have been made.
“An assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm case was registered at Manenberg SAPS for investigation. The incident happened at Irene Court, Manenberg on November 29 at about 9pm. No arrests as yet and the investigation continues,” said Van Wyk.
Anti-GBV spokesperson for Heideveld NGO Hope For the Future, Vanessa Nelson, said while police and the justice system have a mandate to protect vulnerable women and children, “they have failed this victim miserably”.
“I met with this victim during the week after she had been attacked by her husband. She is tired and she is fed up with the abuse and no longer wants her life in danger. To this day, no arrests have been made and this man is walking around freely in the community.
“Every year it’s the same thing during this campaign for awareness but what awareness is there if the police are not bothered to make arrests and have no sympathy or empathy with a women attacked during the 16 Days of activism? Our systems are failing us,” said Nelson.
Anti-GBV activist from Bellville South, Janine Booysen, said not enough is being done to help women and victims of GBV crimes.
“Women are going to report cases and when they aren’t helped by SAPS, what is left for them to do? In most cases these women have nowhere else to go and they are exposed to the same toxic cycles, enduring abuse. There is a feeling of hopelessness by victims caught in abusive relationships,” said Booysen.