ALT Advisory is pleased to note that the National Council of Provinces Select Committee on Security and Justice’s report on the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill [B20 – 2020] demonstrates that the Committee has taken into account the joint submission made by ALT Advisory and Research ICT Africa (RIA), and which was further endorsed by the Association for Progressive Communications, Media Monitoring Africa, Chenai Chair, Mutondi Mulaudzi, and Samantha Malunga.
On 9 July 2021, ALT Advisory and RIA filed a joint submission to the Committee recommending that various amendments were required to the Bill in order to provide adequate protection to victims, survivors, and persons affected by domestic violence that occurs online and to highlight the proliferation of online harms, or harms facilitated, abetted, or aggravated by the internet, social media and the use of information communication technologies (ICTs).
We commend the Committee for incorporating a number of the recommendations made in the joint submission, notably:
- The use of gender-neutral pronouns throughout the Bill, particularly with reference to victims and survivors of gender-based violence, in order to recognise the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that can intensify experiences of domestic and gender-based violence.
- The inclusion in Clause 2 in the definition of ‘intimidation’ of an explicit reference to threats which are communicated through electronic communication.
We believe that these amendments will further strengthen the Bill’s ability to protect all victims and survivors of domestic violence and to respond to the evolving nature of domestic violence in the digital age, and we thank the Committee for their consideration.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].