KEETMANSHOOP - The Namibian police in the //Kharas region are concerned over the spike in gender-based violence (GBV) as fresh statistics indicate more cases were reported in the region so far this year compared to the same time in 2017.
Speaking at a GBV meeting organized by the Soli Deo Gloria Choir of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) on Saturday morning at Keetmanshoop, the head of the gender-based violence protection unit at Keetmanshoop, Detective Chief Inspector Joch Angukku, said it is worrisome to see that despite efforts to curb GBV, such cases have in fact increased.
She revealed that from January to September this year 249 domestic violence cases were reported across the region, while 229 cases were recorded in the same period in 2017, which cases include assault and malicious damage to property.
“It is a big concern that cases of domestic violence keep increasing in our region – let us stand up as Namibians to root out GBV, let us speak out against this,” she said, adding that while there are many factors that contribute to the high number of such cases, alcohol and drug abuse still remain one of the main contributing factors towards GBV.
Keetmanshoop (104), Lüderitz (22) and Tses feature prominently in domestic violence cases in 2018, while Warmbad (1), Ariamsvlei (2) have the least number of cases as per the statistics shared at the event.
Angukku also expressed concern over the withdrawal of reported cases, saying out of love, or financial implications to the family and many other factors, the victims in some instances choose to withdraw the case, but this number seems to have decreased, as only 40 cases out of 113 cases reported in Keetmanshoop in 2018 were withdrawn compared to 79 out of 104 cases in 2017, and this decrease, while overall only 54 cases out of 249 cases reported in the region were withdrawn, compared to 116 out of 229 in the same period in 2017.
She said rape also continues to be a concern in the region, with 42 cases of rape reported from January to September this year compared to 42 within the same period last year, and unlike GBV cases, rape cases are rarely withdrawn, but convictions remain a problem as no one was convicted for rape in both 2017 and 2018, while Angukku further expressed concerns of individuals reporting rape cases very late.
“Victims of rape sometimes report such cases after two years – rape should be reported immediately or within 72 hours of the incident,” she said.
The meeting was preceded by a march from the bridge near the new fire station to the J. Stephanus stadium to raise awareness and condemn GBV in the country.