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Saturday, 9 August 2008

South African women are actively arming themselves against domestic violence, rape and murder.

South African women are actively arming themselves against domestic violence, rape and murder. More women are purchasing guns and other items to defend themselves against the violence in the country. However, with the stricter weapon control measures, women need to be well-equipped to handle weapons and also understand the laws governing self-defence. In South Africa a woman is raped every 10 minutes, one is beaten up every four minutes and on average seven women are murdered every day. The latest crime statistics reveal that there has been an 8% decrease in rape. But the average figure still stands at more than 1 300 women being raped a day.
Head of media relations for the South African Police Service, Director Phuti Setati says all persons who are declared fit to possess a firearm can be issued with licences irrespective of whether the applicant is male or female. “…women are not discriminated against. We have reports where females also defended themselves using different things.”Although there are no official statistics available regarding female ownership of firearms, a gun shop owner in Bloemfontein, Peter Fredrickson says they have many female clientele, with the most common purchase being a 765 small pistol.Nico Skoonwinkel from a shooting range in Welkom says women are also very involved in shooting as a sport. “10% of the people that come to shoot at the shooting range are women, the women that are into shooting say they enjoy shooting very much and are very competitive…” Since the law changed, it has become more difficult to get a firearm's licence, with some people having to wait almost four years for it to be approved. In the meantime women wishing to own a firearm are forced to use pepper spray.



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