Battered women and the law
In their 2001 book titled Battered Women and the Law, Clare Dalton and Elizabeth M. Schneider examine the history of domestic violence as both a legal and social problem.
They also interrogated the dynamics of abusive relationships and how the experience of abuse is shaped by the race, cultural identity, sexual orientation, economic status, and physical and mental health status of both abuser and abused.
With the escalating incidences of killings of women by men and our country’s evident failure to nip the scourge in the bud, we believe it is time we re-think measures to prevent further deaths.
The law, as good as it looks on paper, has so far failed to prevent the wave killings - of men killing their lovers or ex-lovers.
Last week, a man allegedly shot his girlfriend at Okahao, before putting the last bullet into his own head.
This is the umpteenth time the media reports these cases, just in this year alone, and even stiffer jail sentences against past offenders do not seem to have changed the general tendency towards such brutal reactions.
This tells us that the current interventions are not working at all. And, as a country, we cannot sit back and watch our mothers and sisters being killed by their ruthless lovers.
Something is got to be done, and done now. Although we cannot produce any statistics, it is our deeply-held conviction that such killings are actually on the increase as opposed to decreasing.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba has denounced such acts at almost every public function he addresses. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare has rolled out aggressive campaigns against passion killing and domestic violence but that too has yielded little result.
With all these efforts failing, isn’t it time that the country comes up with a new strategy? What countries have the lowest incidents of domestic violence in the world and are those countries doing something right that we don’t?
No one deserves to be a victim of this brutality, and no one should be. This is not an obscure issue that we can sweep under the rug. We have no more time to waste when addressing domestic violence.
We are not big fans of Namibian-style national conferences most of which have been mere talk-shops, but we believe that a national conference to revamp the whole anti-domestic violence approach should be convened.