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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Violence against women in South Africa: An analysis of media coverage.

Author: Gray, M.M.A.; Sathiparsad, R.
Author Background:
Date 1/1/98
Type Journal
Journal Title: Social-Work
Volume/Pages 34(3): 267-280.
Subject Matter Women
Abstract Besides poverty and crime, one of the single most important social issues facing social workers in South Africa today is that of violence, particularly the increase in violence against women. It is estimated that in South Africa a woman is raped every three minutes. This has led to a public outcry demanding renewed responses, more favourable to women, from the criminal justice system. In addition, there has been an alarming increase and greater public awareness of domestic violence. This has led to the emergence of advice desks for abused women in several centres but their work has been hampered by the lack of community-based resources to help abused women and their families. The increase in the incidence of violence against women has led to increased media coverage of issues relating to women, particularly rape and domestic violence. This paper documents media reports on this growing social problem and public and government responses to violence against women in our society. A content analysis of media coverage reveals a growing impatience with government responses, both from the police and the legal system, and a call for community action and reformed measures to deal with both perpetrators and survivors of rape and domestic violence.