Authors: Lerato Langa-Mlambo & Priya Soma-Pillay

Keyword: gender violence, sexual violence, South Africa


Agenda 2063: A6

South Africa is currently experiencing a huge burden of morbidity and mortality arising from violence and injury. In 2000, violence and unintentional injuries combined were the second leading cause of all death and disability adjusted life years (DALY).1 The first cause being Human Immunodeficiency Viral (HIV) diseases.1 Interpersonal violence is the leading risk factor after unsafe sex and for loss of DALYs.1 According to the crime statistics report of South Africa during the 2011/12 financial year there were 777 104 serious crimes arrests and 806 298 in 2012/13.2 There were 197 877 crimes reported against women in 2009/10 in comparison to 175 880 in 2012/13, a reduction of 11.1%.2 However, the reviews of evidence for gender based violence has reported that no reduction occurred in the past decade.3 There are no reliable national data for the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV), but the best population based estimates from 1998 identifies a lifetime prevalence of physical violence of 25%.