“When will the justice system start working to protect the victims of gender-based violence and femicide?” said Kaylynn Palm, Action Centre coordinator at Action Society. “It is a disgrace that a violent abuser can get bail while his victim can barely see out of her swollen eyes in court.”
Action Society assisted a young woman who was allegedly severely beaten by her boyfriend more than a week ago at Khayelitsha Court today. She sat in court with visible injuries – including red and purple bruises and eyes swollen shut.
According to her, the suspect became angry after she slept over at a friend’s house and returned home late. He burned her clothes and personal belongings. When she returned, he locked her up, beat her and shoved her into the street almost naked.
The police arrested the suspect days later, and he appeared in court for the second time today. The court granted him bail of R2 000, and the matter was postponed to September.
“The woman must return to the hospital next week to repair fractured bones in her face,” said Palm. “She told us that she cannot understand why he is allowed to go free after severely assaulting her.
“We are seeing more and more cases where abusers receive bail after brutally attacking their victims. And, in so many cases, they attack their victims again. These women go through so much trauma, and then they have to fear for their lives when the attackers walk around freely.”
In the past month, Action Society offered support to the family of Siphokazi Booi’s family after her case was postponed yet again after the suspect in her case – her boyfriend – attacked, murdered and burned her body in September last year. He was out on bail at the time.
“We will continue the fight to change the justice system in favour of victims,” said Palm.