#16Days16Fails - Raising Awareness of Systemic Failures Day: 2/16

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 2/16: MAINTENANCE COURT 

I approached the Department of Justice (DOJ) because the court was failing my son in terms of setting up a garnishing order for the father, who was in arrears with child maintenance for two years. When I tried to escalate my problem to the deputy court manager, he randomly suggested I spend the night with him.

I complained to the Department of Justice telephonically and was told to write a formal complaint. This drained me physically and emotionally. I then met with two people from the Department where they formally interviewed me, and waited for the outcome of the case. No one got back to me, and eventually I called them to ask for the outcome, but the response was cold and vague, as if nothing had happened to me. I was told the case was concluded and filed - as if the case wasn't about me.

What was the biggest fail? That I was violated by a person in a position of authority/ trust, and then not even given the outcome of my complaint. This also had a knock on effect in receiving assistance for the initial maintenance issue I had sought assistance for. That person I complained about implied that he will leave my case after I didn’t cooperate with his request to sleep with him.” - 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 6

Log in or register to post comments
Basudha Modak
Nov 26, 2020
Nov 26, 2020

Dear Lenina,Thank u for sharing .I too stay in joberg ,and I know how the system has been failing us regularly .The only option we have is for all of us to stand together and help each other .A meek voice isn't heard.A roar will ...

Lenina Rassool
Nov 26, 2020
Nov 26, 2020

Dear Baudha, thank you so much for the comment and support. You are right - we must stand together, against all forms of GBV but also to hold these systems accountable for secondary victimisation. I am trying to raise awareness so people can that this too is a civic and corruption issue. I hope all is well in JHB :-). Continue to roar x

Sujit
Nov 26, 2020
Nov 26, 2020

It's an institutional failure of the justice system. Yes, holding these people in positions of power accountable through voicing stories is the need.

Isata Kabia
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 27, 2020

What a great initiative, Lenina, and an engraving way to really highly the systemic problems in funding, preventing, responding and collecting data within the GBV struggle. Thank you foe high lighting these failures, and the struggles of real people.

Lenina Rassool
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 27, 2020

Thank you Isata and yes, we are hoping to do just that. I am hoping to expand into data stories showing the scale of systemic failure so that we can counter the lip service (and small budgets) allocated to prevention and responses to GBV. There is so little media coverage and civic engagement in GBV. We are hoping this will make it more visible.
Thank you for the support and all the best on your side. xx

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

Hello, Lenina,

It's absurd to be violated by someone who is in authority and power. Thank you for sharing this with us because this kind of practice exists in other countries. How sad that societies normalize this kind of abuse of power.

Keep it up!