DA Women’s Network (Dawn) leader Nomafrench Mbombo decried the lack of support for victims of gender-based violence (GBV) after an oversight inspection of the Buffalo Flats police station on Monday, September 14.
Mbombo was accompanied by Eastern Cape Dawn chairperson Georgina Faldtan and BCM coastal constituency leader Chantel King.
“During the oversight inspection it came to light that the station only has one officer appointed to offer support to GBV victims, and that the Victim Empowerment Centre is only open on weekdays from 8am to 4pm,” she said.
This was a problem because, according to Mbombo, most cases of GBV and sexual assault at the station were reported in the evenings and on weekends. Vehicles were also lacking, making it difficult for officers to conduct follow-ups or respond to calls.
“The police station has a very high absenteeism rate, with up to half of the staff compliment not reporting for work on Monday,” Mbombo said.
She said victims of GBV were not being provided with the necessary support and counselling, while the facilities that did exist were also inadequate.
“The support centre at Buffalo Flats police station, for example, is housed in a small container outside the station and there is no privacy,” said Mbombo.
“Police stations need to ensure that support services for victims of GBV are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”