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If you look carefully at the SA Police Service’s list of 30 gender-based violence hotspots, released last September, you’ll see that violence has a geography: places where it concentrates and intensifies over time; places where it breaks apart and subsides.

Why is this so? The list cannot say because it offers information rather than understanding, so it limits the ability to do much about reshaping this violent landscape. To understand why the geography looks the way it does, and what to do about it, we need to go beyond simply naming a particular place a hotspot...

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