Lisa Vetten

Lisa Vetten

Lisa Vetten

 

Telling us what counts

Lisa Vetten

"This year, when the statistics went up the increase was explained as proof of greater public confidence in the police, thus encouraging women to report the crime. These self-congratulatory claims, certainly demonstrate chutzpah on the part of the police," writes Lisa Vetten, the gender programme manager at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

Witches, angels and the media

Lisa Vetten

Journalists are the self-appointed custodians of the pot of public sympathy and they guard its apportionment jealously. To the good and virtuous they dole out rich, nourishing platefuls of comfort; to the undeserving, a grudging and watery dilution of feeling. Consider the very different treatment meted out by the media to Leigh Matthews and Annemarie Engelbrecht.

Mbeki and Smith both got it wrong

Lisa Vetten

Statistics, in and of themselves make for boring conversation and dull reading. Yet they leap to volatile, political life when used to make arguments about race and violence, sex and death -- as the angry exchanges between President Thabo Mbeki, anti-rape activist Charlene Smith and the Democratic Alliance's Ryan Coetzee demonstrate. These debates are important for the questions they raise, argues Lisa Vetten.

The quality of mercy

Lisa Vetten

"His sexual abuse of you results in your hospitalisation. You stuff a dishcloth in your mouth when he beats you so that your children will not hear your cries." This introduction, a composite of the lives of Anita Ferreira, Elsie Morare, Sharla Sebejan, Meisie Kgomo, Harriet Chidi and Maria Scholtz, tries to convey some sense of the slamming brutality of domestic violence.