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Report shows decrease in reporting of sexual offences in Western Cape

Recently released statistics show that there is a marked decline in reporting of sexual offences in the Western Cape.

According to a Victims of Crime report launched on the 3rd of October many more South Africans were speaking out and reporting sexual offences to police. Statistics , however, showed the opposite in the Western Cape.

The Western Cape and Limpopo were the only provinces that recorded a decrease in victims approaching police to report sexual offences. Chances are this could be because victims felt they would not get the justice they deserve.Or perhaps the victims knew ,and were intimidated into silence by, the perpetrator.

These statistics emerged in the Victims of Crime report launched in Pretoria. Information in the report was extracted from the 2018/19 Governance, Public Safety and Justice survey.

It found that the percentage of victims of sexual offences who reported at least one sexual offence incident was 88%, countrywide.

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This was a dramatic increase from 73% in 2017/18.

The chances of being robbed while walking in the street were highest in the Western Cape, an increasingly worrying phenomenon.

The report recorded 580 000 incidents of street robbery countrywide, with victims mostly men who were in the Metro. The most commonly used weapons during these robberies were knives at 62% and guns at 37%.

At least 1.3 million housebreakings were recorded across South Africa, with some households being hit more than once.

The survey found that only 48% of the incidents were reported to the police.

According to advocacy group Ilitha Labantu, which deals with sexual offences victims, some victims did not report the serious crime as they felt nothing would come of it.

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“This goes back to the incompetence of the police to adequately deal with sexual violence,” Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siya Monakali said.

According to Monakali when they followed up on the cases, they sometimes found they were not properly recorded at the police station. For example a case would be written ‘other crime’ instead calling it what it is , rape.

The spokesperson listed these as some of the issues that deter women from reporting.

More : IOL

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