Workshop on domestic violence

09 September 2002
DOMESTIC violence was the focus of a workshop in Khayelitsha on September 5, run by UCT's Law, Race and Gender Unit as part of the Learning Cape Festival. The aim was not only to address domestic violence, but also to empower women to take action against perpetrators.

The workshop was based on an episode of Soul City, and was followed of a question and answer session with a panel of experts. "Information is often not enough," said Penny Parenzee, one of the panellists and a researcher at UCT's Institute of Criminology. "Taking action against domestic violence usually entails missing work and forfeiting wages, and often the perpetrators hold the trump card; the job itself and even the home.

"What we can do through workshops of this nature is engage with women after normal working hours in the comfort of their own community, at no cost. Our goal is to lighten their burden in whatever way we can, and for us that is through research, workshops and lobbying."

UCT-led research into homicides at a mortuary in the Western Cape suggests that at least 20% of the deaths in 2000 were domestic violence homicides, Parenzee added. UCT has also made a considerable contribution to the new Sexual Offences Legislation.

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