Going the extra mile: police training on domestic violence

24 Apr 2013

As anticipated by the drafters of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA), the South African Police Service holds the key to the successful implementation of the Act. Over the past ten years, researchers and independent bodies tasked with monitoring the implementation of this legislation have consistently called for more training for police officials on how to deal with domestic violence. However, the reality is that police officials already receive such training. The question that therefore arises is why these training programmes appear to be ineffective in ensuring compliance with the DVA. A recently completed research and advocacy project found that although the majority of SAPS members interviewed had a basic understanding of the DVA and its key concepts, their ability to apply its provisions in practical problemsolving scenarios was often limited, leading to the recommendation that training methodologies should be more practice-oriented if they are to improve DVA compliance.