KEETMANSHOOP - “It is very painful, difficult and sad for me to make peace with the death of my little angel,” said an emotional Anna Marie Dausab.
Dausab was one of many who participated in the sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) protest at Keetmanshoop on Friday.
Residents participated in big numbers in solidarity with family members of victims who succumbed due to gender-based violence.
Reading out a petition handed over to the deputy prosecutor general at the town, Ambrosius Both explained the purpose of the gathering as that of expressing their deep sense of outrage against SGBV.
He said men were the main perpetrators of all forms of violence and that they failed to have the responsibility to end it.
“This always leaves victims of sexual and gender-based violence alone in standing up to eradicate it,” he said.
Both also said the campaign is making a bold statement in challenging socially accepted norms and behaviour by publicly labelling unhealthy toxic masculinity and how it manifests in society as accepted acts of violence against women.
He continued that gender-based violence has infiltrated all aspects of the daily life of women. “GBV is deeply rooted in gender inequality and continues to be one of the most notable human rights violations within all sectors of society,” he said.
The spokesperson recommended President Hage Geingob should address the nation and declare GBV as another pandemic raging in the country. “As a country, we have been slow to respond to this pandemic and the current attempt to address GBV has been haphazard at the least and uncoordinated at the best,” Both argued.
He added the youth have identified areas of particular concerns that need hasty intervention. As one of the solutions, he recommended the opening of a second police station in the Tseiblaagte suburb with 24 hours patrols at crime hotspots.
Both added that courts should give priority to rape and murder cases as well as implement the quick and effective prosecution of GBV and sexual offenders. “Safe houses must be made available for these victims through the renovation of neglected, unoccupied government houses.” He also urged government to swiftly implement recommendations from the youth towards the curbing of gender based-and-sexual-violence in society. “Namibia will not be safe until Namibian women and children
are safe and protected.”