About 603 cases of gender-based violence have been reported in the Ohangwena region between January and December this year alone, according to the Namibian police. Head of the Gender-based Violence Protection Sub- Division in the region Josephine Sibolile made the announcement recently during the launch of Operation Basadi at Eenhana.
The operation was launched in the regional capital with the objectives to combat and reduce crime committed against
women and children, enhance cooperation between the police and its stakeholders in the fight against gender-based violence and related crimes, as well as to develop risk profiles of targeted crime types.
During the launch, Sibolile reported the figures were indeed high and quite shocking with violent crimes such as rape,
assault by threat and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm topping the list, portraying Ohangwena region as a region with a shameful record of GBV in the country.
Sibolile stated the most painful and disturbing part of these gender-related crimes is that they are committed against
the most vulnerable members of our society, who are women and the girl child, with 95% of the cases against them.
“Most grandfathers, fathers, uncles and cousins that are supposed to be the protectors of these women and the girl
child have turned out to be their cause of harm and I do not see how a woman or a girl child can feel safe on the streets if she has no source of security at home,” said Sibolile.
“Who is she supposed to run to if someone bullies, threatens or abuses her on the street if the situation at home is worse
than what she experiences on the streets?”
She urged the communities to develop a culture of looking after oneself and one another in the spirit of Ubuntu, practise
rendering a helping hand to survivors of gender-related crimes, speaking out against GBV and reporting of such
crimes on time.
She also urged men who suffer from abuse to speak out without fear and not be silent due to social stigma.