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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Crime, Violence and Injury Prevention in South Africa: Developments and Challenges
Title An overview of gender-based violence in South Africa and South African responses
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
Page numbers 40-64
URL http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Salla_Atkins/publication/228426377_Crime_Violence_and_Injury_Pre​vention_in_South_Africa_Developments_and_Challenges/links/0912f50b664f60caed000000.pdf#page=50
Violence against women is a public health problem that accounts for many negative health outcomes for women (Campbell, 2002; Heise & Garcia-Moreno, 2002). It is the most invisible but the most common form of violence and it is distinguished from other forms because it is perpetrated by male intimate partners. It is a universal problem that transcends social, economic and cultural boundaries. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and women’s organisations have been trying for more than three decades to locate this problem on the international agenda. It only received recognition as a human rights violation in 1993 (United Nations, 1993), and in 1996 the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised gender violence as a public health priority (World Health Organisation, 1996). In this chapter we present an overview of gender-based violence in South Africa. The focus is on intimate partner violence and health sector responses. We also present an analysis of how the criminal justice system has performed in its response to the violence. The terms ‘gender-based violence’ and ‘violence against women’ are used interchangeably throughout the chapter.

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