Minister for Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu says violence against women in South Africa should not be called a 'crisis' but rather a 'challenge', Eyewitness News (EWN) reported on Thursday.
New research by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and Oxfam was released on Wednesday, showing that violence against women remains a huge problem despite government's attempts at intervening.
"I don't want to say we have a crisis in South Africa, we have a challenge. Because, if you call it a challenge we'll be able to stand up and confront it... I don't want to confine it to domestic violence only or gender-based violence. I want to look at a societal problem because violence is a societal problem," she reportedly said.
According to TimesLive, the research showed that amongst the most prevalent types of abuse was sexual violence and domestic violence. It also found that intimate partners are most likely the perpetrators.
The research was also critical of government's failure to provide service and act against abuse.
Women also tend to blame themselves for abuse, and the image of marriage could sometimes make women susceptible to abuse.
"The notion of marriage as a space of endurance‚ connected to economic security‚ social respect and religious beliefs‚" said CSVR researcher Nonhlanhla Sibanda-Moyo.
"South Africans‚ please stop undermining yourselves. We are a country which can challenge the traditional cultural laws‚ don't be deceived‚ you've done a lot and will continue to do so‚" said Shabangu.