Recent police statistics show a shift in drug abuse and violence from cities to small rural towns. One example is the small town of Saron, home to about 7,000 people. Drug-related crimes in the town have risen exponentially from 69 in 2004 to almost 500 in 2014.
Over the past ten years, Saron has changed. Alcohol abuse is rife and it has a new partner, crystal methamphetamine or ‘tik’. Almost every household is affected.
Tik abuse is also fuelling domestic violence in the Overberg region, with women and children becoming increasingly vulnerable. Health-e News investigates the link between tik abuse and domestic violence in a documentary for Cutting Edge airing tonight.
Chrystalene Koester was violently attacked by her mother’s boyfriend, allegedly high on tik.
“…they were having an argument, and I tried to break it up, then he pushed me, because it was almost like I’m intervening. Then I looked down at my mother, and when I looked back up, he took the garden-fork and stabbed it in my face” – Chrystalene Koester.
In danger of losing her eyesight, he was rushed to hospital. Luckily, two weeks after being admitted to hospital, the sight improved in her right eye and she hopes that an operation will fully restore her eyesight.
Koester was relatively lucky. Others have lost their lives due to drug-induced violence in these small towns.
“When you smoke with your partner, girfriend or wife, nine out of ten times you will kill her” – drug addict.
With authorities seemingly unable to stop the scourge, communities are trying to take action.
We take a look at the path of destruction left by tik and alcohol and its affects on women and children.
Tune into Cutting Edge (SABC 1) tonight at 9.30pm.
Written and Directed by:
Johann Abrahams for Health-e News Service
Tel: 011 880 0995