However, “we still have an enormous problem of femicide in our country with three women killed per day by an intimate partner”.
The 2017 study pointed to an increase in missing information related to police investigations, highlighting missing dockets increased from 1.6% in 2009 to 9.1% in 2017.
It also found there was an increase in cases where the perpetrators were not identified during investigations.
“These findings are indicative of a decline in the quality of police investigations of femicide cases.
“It is critical femicide receives the attention it needs so perpetrators who murder women are held accountable and punished for this crime against women”, said Abrahams.
SAMRC president and CEO Prof Glenda Gray said though the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) was far from over, the finding that the rate of femicide had declined was important and exciting.
“For almost 30 years the SAMRC, through its gender and health research unit, has been responsive to GBV and femicide, leading research and developing and testing interventions to prevent and respond to the scourge,” Gray said.
Gun Free SA (GFSA) lauded the SAMRC findings, saying they showed the importance of gun control.
“The latest MRC study is good news. It shows we have halved femicide in SA over the past 18 years. It also tells us that to further protect women and girls, we need a strong gun law that is well enforced with zero tolerance for corruption and fraud. This is one of the reasons GFSA supports proposed amendments to strengthen SA’s gun law: it will help save lives,” said Adèle Kirsten, director of GFSA.
However, GFSA noted that from 2009 gun femicide increased by almost 5% (from 17.3% in 2009 to 21.8% in 2017).