Submission to the Civilian Secretariat for Police on the Green Paper on Policing

This submission is made by several gender, women’s rights and children’s rights civil society organisations working in the area of gender based violence. Some of these organisations provide direct services to survivors of domestic violence through shelters or psycho-social and legal advice or support and others conduct advocacy and litigation around women’s and children’s rights to equality and freedom from violence.

Following a civil society workshop on domestic violence organised by the Community Law Centre of the University of the Western Cape on 22 July 2013, the participating organisations decided to make submissions on the Civilian Secretariat of Police’s (‘the Secretariat’) Green Paper on Policing published in the Government Gazette on 18 June 2013 (‘the Green Paper’). This decision was made in light of the fact that part of the poor implementation of the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 (‘the DVA’) which impedes survivor’s of domestic violence ability to benefit from the DVA is linked to problems with policing. Additionally, certain provisions in the DVA that places duties on the South African Police Service (‘SAPS’) needs to be amended to improve policing. Accordingly, this submission only contains comments and recommendations applicable to domestic violence and policing.