Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is currently increasing at an alarming rate in the country.
This requires immediate action and interruption from the Namibian Police and its stakeholders to get involved and take the necessary action to stop GBV.
The youth ministry in Gobabis this week held community leaders advocacy-training workshops on youth empowerment and GBV prevention.
Deputy Commissioner Chris Kalumbila said: “It is worth mentioning that men remain the main culprits in the commission of GBV crimes, even though women perpetrating GBV crimes are slightly increasing.”
He said GBV is a form of discrimination that seriously violates and impairs the enjoyment of all human rights and the fundamental freedom of survivors. It represents a pattern of behaviour that undermines the dignity and security of the victims.
“It limits the victim’s participation in society and damages their health and wellbeing. It comes at a high cost, not only to the individual who suffers physical and mental harm, but also to children, family, community and society,” he said.
Kalumbila added: “The most pervasive form of GBV is domestic violence perpetrated by an intimate partner. According to police reports, the vast majority of domestic violence survivors are women and children.”
He said that among the types of offences committed, common assault is prevalent in the Khomas, Ohangwena, Erongo, //Kharas and Omusati regions. Assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm is common in Khomas, Ohangwena, Oshana, Omusati and Kavango East regions. Rape-Khomas, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa and Oshana while attempted murder is prevalent in Ohangwena, //Kharas, Kavango East, Kavango West and Erongo.
The deputy commissioner stated that both attempted murder and murder in domestic relationships remain a concern whether it is committed with a firearm or another weapon and noted that it’s a sad, concerning that homes which are supposed to be the safest have become places of horror for people to live in.
The previously unconducive circumstances in reporting of GBV and violence against children cases led to the establishment of the GBV Protection Units. The GBVPU is a specialised division within the Criminal Investigation Directorate.
Omaheke governor Pijoo Nganate said that based on facts, alcohol and drug abuse are some of the key causes of GBV in societies. “I urge the perpetrators to reimage themselves and desist from such acts,” he counselled.
Nganate stated that as a region, they are not immune to GBV, adding that the Namibian Police GBV Sub Division recorded 93 cases of violence between March and May 2022, of which 11 have been withdrawn.
“This already indicates that we are sitting with a serious problem as we all know that the majority of these cases remain unreported for various reasons. It is sad to note that some of our traditional/cultural practices contribute directly and indirectly to the vulnerability of women in our societies, causing inequalities,” stated Nganate.
The mayor of Gobabis, Elvire Theron agreed that there is a need to discourage inequalities and traditional norms that fuel gender harmful practices.
“The purpose of this workshop is to empower community leaders with skills and knowledge to lead conversations and be change agents of youth development and anti-GBV champions,” she said.