After leaving an abusive relationship, Thando was violently assaulted in her home by her ex-boyfriend. After being beaten, strangled, kicked, and thrown to the ground, Thando went to the police to open a criminal case against her abuser. However, instead of being helped, she was simply given a form to take to the hospital and told to come back once it was completed. This callous police response to GBV victims is all too common, despite being a clear violation of the law.
Frustrated, discouraged and confused, Thando turned to LvA for help. LvA explained that the police were at fault, having not handled her situation correctly, and accompanied Thando back to the police station to open a case. Upon returning to the police station, Thando was again treated rudely and told she was dressed “inappropriately” for the police station, a respectable establishment. Luckily, Thando was not alone. LvA intervened, insisting that as a member of the community who had been assaulted, Thando deserved to be treated with respect. LvA’s attorneys also pointed out to the police that refusing to assist a victim of gender-based violence based on his or her clothing was a violation of the law.
Thanks to Thando’s extraordinary resilience and LvA’s timely intervention, a criminal case of common assault was opened against Thando’s ex-boyfriend. Without LvA’s involvement, Thando would likely have been turned away by the police a second time, leaving her with no recourse to justice and little faith in the justice system itself.
After the criminal case was opened, LvA continued to apply pressure on the police to move forward with the investigation. Thando’s ex-boyfriend soon fled Diepsloot and the police are still searching for him. The most important thing, however, is that Thando is doing well and says she is able to feel safe once again.