Home PodcastInayet Wadee Gun Free South Africa Launches ‘Removing the Trigger Campaign’ to Combat Escalating Domestic Gun Violence

Gun Free South Africa Launches ‘Removing the Trigger Campaign’ to Combat Escalating Domestic Gun Violence

by Thaabit Kamaar


South Africa – Ongoing challenges persist with gender-based violence and domestic abuse in our nation despite steadfast efforts and existing legislation aimed at addressing these issues. The inclusion of dangerous weapons, particularly guns, in domestic settings can potentially further exacerbate the danger within homes, posing a threat to men, women, and children.

This Valentine’s Day, Gun Free South Africa initiated the Removing the Trigger campaign in collaboration with Mosaic Training, the Heinrich Boell Foundation, and the National Shelter Movement of South Africa.

Kerryn Rehse, a Policy and Advocacy Specialist at Mosaic Training, revealed that the campaign is motivated by the tragic stories of various victims, with a poignant focus on Sasha-Lee Shah from KwaZulu Natal. Despite having a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, Sasha-Lee tragically lost her life to gun violence.

Though the tragedy of her death is still mourned, she certainly is not the last. Rehse underlined alarming data indicating a growing trend of lethal violence in South African homes and domestic environments.

“If we look at the latest police stats and the crime stats of the last quarter, two-thirds of sexual violence cases happened within a home setting. Assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, almost 50% of those cases happened within homes. So we’re seeing that the homes are becoming increasingly violent.”

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What Are the Campaign’s Goals and Aims?

The primary goal of the Removing the Trigger campaign is to bring attention to the hazards associated with possessing firearms in domestic settings. Additionally, it actively advocates the implementation of legislative measures to safeguard victims from abuse involving firearms and to provide legal and other needed support where necessary.

Consequently, Rehse notes that South Africa already has commendable laws to protect people from such harm. However, the challenge lies in the effective implementation of these laws by the relevant authorities.

“This campaign focuses specifically on guns first and second guns in domestic violence settings. We have a law where people can approach the court to ask for a gun to be removed, and we want to make sure that the law is implemented correctly. That people use the law for that purpose.

For this reason, the Remove the Trigger campaign aims to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive understanding of these laws among law enforcement, civilians, and victims. The ultimate objective is to assure strict adherence to these decrees, thereby providing victims with the necessary protection against all forms of gun-related violence.

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