#16Days16Fails - Raising Awareness of Systemic Failures Day: 1/16

Lenina Rassool
Posted November 26, 2020 from South Africa

#16Days16Fails is a collection of stories by women from around the country who have accessed systems designed to deal with GBV and experienced systemic failures and secondary victimization. We'll be posting a story a day for the next 16 days to shine the spotlight and raise awareness on systemic failures to adequately assist victims of violence.

STORY 1/16: PROTECTION ORDERS

I obtained a Protection Order in 2011, and he contravened it. We went through the entire court process, only for him to be let off the hook. I stayed in the marriage thinking it would get better but it only got worse. In 2017, he knocked me unconscious and this was the final straw. I filed for divorce. 

I had to apply for a second protection order because, apparently, after 10 years the previous one lapses. After to and fro in the domestic violence court, a new protection order was issued - which he contravened that same night. I opened a case and the police forcefully removed his belongings. The next day - he assaulted me. I had to do a J43, charges of assault were added. No arrest was made, as I was told my and my children’s lives were not in danger. I later found out he bribed the police!

I was not going to give up and kept fighting. The case was finally enrolled at court and after my postponements, the trial began. My perseverance and faith paid off and the magistrate found him guilty. Sentencing is due within the next few weeks after a probation officer report is submitted.”  - Anonymous. 

16Days16Fails is an initiative by Lenina Rassool and Felicity Guest to shine the spotlight on systemic failures in cases of violence against women and children. All the stories are real experiences by women who have interacted with systems designed to address issues of GBV and child protection.  #16daysofactivism #justice #GBV #EndViolenceAgainstWomen #EndViolenceAgainstChildren

This story was submitted in response to Sharing Solutions: Ending GBV.

Comments 12

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Jill Langhus
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 27, 2020

Hi Lenina,

How are you? Thanks for sharing your first story and your initiative, and for bringing more awareness to these challenges that women face so that we can all collectively bring an end to them.

Lenina Rassool
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 27, 2020

HI Jill, I am good thanks. I hope you are too. And thank you for the support. It is much appreciated. xx

Jill Langhus
Nov 28, 2020
Nov 28, 2020

You're welcome. Yes, I'm pretty good, thanks.

You're welcome, dear.

Hope you have a good weekend. XX

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 27, 2020

Hello, Lenina,

How creative and well-thought it is to document 16 days of systematic failures. It is a call to action in itself. Thank you for sharing this with us!

Lenina Rassool
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 27, 2020

Thank you so much Karen. Comments and support is very much appreciated. xx

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Dec 03, 2020
Dec 03, 2020

You're welcome, dear. That takes a lot of hard work and dedication to document these fails. Kudos to you! We're cheering you on.

Marie Abanga
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 27, 2020

Dear Lenina,

I want to thank you for sharing such a soul story to point out what is not working and how a lot of work is still be done to kick out all forms of gender based violence. As I said in the World Pulse Webinar to mark the day of 25th November, we must bare in mind that there are still so many victims in our society who need a lot of help to heal and hope again - this to me is what proper RESPOND should be about, and we can only know about the many many sisters needing such help when they share their stories.
I am definitely waiting for your next post
Light and Love,
Marie

Lenina Rassool
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 27, 2020

Dear Marie,
Thank you so much for your comments and support. You are so right: the responses to GBV are often wholly inaccurate. For one, there is not enough therapeutic services even for victims of violence and that should be at the centre of services. In terms of justice, we should really be interrogating our very low conviction rates for GBV and rape. This not only leaves victims without justice but in South Africa where the conviction rate is around 8%, it means over 90% of perpetrators go free and walk among us and our children.
Thank you for your work and support. xxx

Paulina Nayra
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 27, 2020

Dear Lennina... this is a very good initiative to highlight the flaws in the enforcement of laws. In this case, the protection orders failed to protect her, or the ones who are supposed to protect her, neglected their duties. And good that you are documenting this so policy recommendations can be forwarded to correct the flaw.
What's the next story?

Huggs.

Lenina Rassool
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 27, 2020

Dear Paulina, thank you so much for your comments and support. The spotlight is rarely on the system, and often not in ways that count. 16 days is also when the institutions pay lip service to services that don't work. I appreciate your support.
Day 2 on child maintenance can be found here: https://www.worldpulse.com/community/users/lenina/posts/97616
Day3 on fraudulent divorce: https://www.worldpulse.com/community/users/lenina/posts/97623

And will be posting one every day until the end of 16 days. xx

Beth Lacey
Dec 02, 2020
Dec 02, 2020

I have never heard a story where a protection order actually worked- and you are proving it again

Maya Iwata
Dec 03, 2020
Dec 03, 2020

Lenina, Thank you for sharing your campaign on the systemic failures to combat gender-based violence. So much of the public is not aware of how the systems set up to protect women are failing and the secondary trauma/negative impact of the process of seeking justice can have on the survivors. I appreciate how the survivor in the story says "I was not going to give up and kept fighting" although it is terrible that she has to do so. Thank you for the work you do to support survivors and center survivor-based solutions and responses to gender-based violence.