25 signatures reached
To: Community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko
Rewrite the Victim Empowerment programme booklet to highlight violence against LGBTIQ people
We want the Gauteng government to rewrite the victim empowerment programme booklet to intentionally highlight violence against LGBTIQ people, and to appoint at least 2 people who identify as LGBTIQ with whom they will work with to rewrite the booklet.
We want a commitment to have the booklet rewritten by 1 September 2019.
The victim Empowerment programme is an important intervention programme on the national crime prevention strategy. It was launched in 1996, with the aim of making the criminal justice system victim friendly.
The booklet answers the question “ What is abuse” as follows:
“Domestic violence is violence, whether physical or sexual, it occurs within the home. It can involve parents and children, brothers and sisters, partners, husbands, wives. Other forms of abuse which occur outside of the home such as rape and assault are forms of gender violence.
Anyone may be a victim of violence.”
Even though this is not wrong, it fails to acknowledge a key area of gender violence being that which is against LGTBIQ people, something our context demands…If one looks at how much violence LGTBIQ people suffer in our communities and country. We need to do more to educate against hate and violence against LGTBIQ people, and the booklet provides an important opportunity to do so.
The booklet provides a number for OUT ( an organisation servicing the LGBTIQ community), which is very helpful. Adding more information would do more to shine on the work done by such organisations.
Why is this important?
It is important that LGBTIQ people feel that the specific ways in which they are victims of violence in SA is named and acknowledged, because it is in framing things right, that we stand a chance at fixing them.
Statistics by the Centre for risk analysis at the South African Institute of Race relations in 2017 said that 4 out of 10 LGBTIQ South Africans know someone who has been Murdered for being or suspected of being LGBTIQ. 
This specific statistic alone, which has grown in 2019, shows that the support needed by LGBTIQ people in South Africa from the justice system is urgent and unique. And as such measures to address their plight as victims of gender based violence need to reflect them uniquely.
The booklet rewritten will also educate on LGTBIQ issues, as well as champion the constitution. On this organisations like OUT provide a useful service. One report they produced asks the question: Is being gay unafrican?
“Our Constitution says that we are not allowed to discriminate against anyone because of their sexual orientation. However cultural and traditional intolerance and negative attitudes from others still force people to hide their sexuality.
As a result, some lesbian or gay people, including those living in African communities, do not disclose or openly show who they really are in public. This does not suggest, however, that homosexuality is un-African. On the contrary, it is clear that homophobia is un- African because it denies people the opportunity to express their full humanity.” 
South Africa is already doing some of the work, as reflected in this report by the Sonke Gender Justice network... “ The analysis found that South Africa has developed a strong National Strategic Plan for HIV, STIs and TB 2012–2016 in terms of engaging men and boys, a strong 365 Day National Action Plan to End Gender Violence, and is a best practice example in terms of LGBTI policy and law in Africa” (https://genderjustice.org.za/publication/policy-report-south-africa/)
We want the booklet to reflect this.
How it will be delivered
We will mobilize and plan to deliver the petition at the MEC office