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South Africa continues to face utterly appalling levels of violence against women, with extensive alcohol abuse among factors fueling endemic gender-based violence (GBV). Between excessive drinking lowering inhibitions and being used by perpetrators to victim blame, liquor profoundly enables GBV to target females across all ages.
Abusers frequently utilize alcohol to disable potential victims while providing an excuse for violent actions. “I was drunk” rings flat but gets weaponized to avoid accountability after attacks. However, drinking also directly brings out aggression, power dynamics, and underlying societal misogyny.
Intoxicated males are more liable towards physical abuse, sexual assault and femicide. Dehumanization of women routinely emerges, with vicious domestic violence outbreaks often following weekend binge drinking when tensions boil over. Trauma units too frequently witness spikes correlating with paydays and drinking periods.
The government must not just treat alcohol as a revenue source while lamenting GBV. Excessive liquor consumption serves as a social lubricant, yet the outcomes are destroying, not uplifting, South African women. Lawmakers have options, from awareness campaigns to regulating access. Because our horrific status quo of gender violence drunk on alcohol cannot continue.