#16Days16Fails - Raising Awareness of Systemic Failures Day: 6/16

Lenina Rassool
Posted November 29, 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 6/16: MAINTENANCE COURT

“Last month I appeared for my maintenance case. I had requested a variation from the current order. I wanted the dad to take the child off of his medical aid, so that I can add the child back on mine, and then the father should pay the difference in my medical aid, because he had already depleted his funds.  

From the moment I walked into the magistrates office, her attitude was consistent. She refused to give me a chance to speak nor look at any of my documents. She only listened to the father's side. 

She told me I will NOT get what I requested because they (government employees) didn't get an increment this year, so I must listen out for when they get an increase then come back to court. She was banging on the table telling me to keep quiet, shouting at the top of her voice and then told me she was done, I must leave her office. Her behaviour amounted to intimidation, unprofessionalism, rudeness and bitterness. 

The other failure is that in written court recordings from our previous court appearance, an order for the father to remove the child from his medical aid was given. But in the actual court order in the file, the court order remains the same and the case was struck off the roll.”   - 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 5

Log in or register to post comments
Tamarack Verrall
Nov 30, 2020
Nov 30, 2020

Dear Lenina,
These are the stories we need to know, and this plan to post one each day to outline the systems' failures is an empowering act. The betrayal felt even deeper when betrayed by a woman, betraying another woman for her own benefit of being accepted in a decent paying job that serves the current system. Thank you for posting.
In sisterhood,
Tam

Lenina Rassool
Nov 30, 2020
Nov 30, 2020

Dear Tam,
Thank you so much for the support and you are absolutely right. It has been said that the betrayal feels even worse when the stakeholder is another female. It also shows that patriarchy is not just male, but rather a system in which many women perpetuate and enable abuses of other women. We continue fighting :-)
Thank you for the comments and support.
Lenina

Liana C
Nov 30, 2020
Nov 30, 2020

Thank you for sharing this story - I am saddened to hear how the system has failed women, individually and systemically.

jomarieb.earth
Nov 30, 2020
Nov 30, 2020

Dear Lenina,
You showed up. That's not everything. But you showed up. Here you spoke up. That's also not everything, nor the final solution. But you showed up and you spoke up. Keep persevering. You are a warrior. Bravo to you!
Hugs...JoMarie

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

Hello, Lenina,

I am with Tam. Women should stick together in this fight. It does feel a betrayal when women in authority turn their back from us and favor someone else.

I appreciate your determination, effort, and courage to document these stories. This is important work because the stories you highlight here are not unique to your community. It stirs up conversations about how we see this in our own countries as well. Thank you for what you are doing for women.

Please keep those posts coming! You have build up momentum. Looking forward to reading more! Kudos to you and Felicity!