GBV cases drop, Covid-19 may be why

26 July 2021 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

A total of 2 643 gender-based violence (GBV)cases were recorded in 2020/2021 in comparison to the 5 427 reported in 2019/2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic regulations may have contributed to some cases increasing and others decreasing.

These statistics were announced by Nampol’s deputy inspector-general for administration, Major-General Anne-Marie Nainda, at the launch of the NamPol Gender-Based Violence National Action Plan 2020/2021.

She said at face value there has been an overall reduction in the total number of reported GBV cases, but she highlighted some areas where problems were still being experienced.

For instance, rape cases within a domestic setup increased from 50 to 61 to and Nainda attributed this to the Covid-19 pandemic, families being in the same space and situations becoming more volatile.

Lockdown conflict

Murder with a weapon within a domestic setup also increased from 13 to 45 cases reported, while murders with a firearm increased with a firearm increased from three to four.

Furthermore, police statistics indicate that 1 018 rape cases were reported in 2020/2021, along with four domestic violence murders, 45 domestic violence attempted murders, 987 assault to do grievous bodily harm cases (domestic violence) and 1 784 common assault cases (domestic violence).

Nainda also mentioned that Covid-19 restrictions may have contributed in a decrease in cases.

She said the development of the plan commenced in November 2020, and the aim was to enhance policing efforts with a view to improving responsiveness, expediting investigations and accentuating collaborative and consultative interventions.

Nainda noted that men are the main culprits in the commission of GBV crimes, although the number of female perpetrators is slightly increasing.

She said the plan will primarily focus on awareness, operations, training, and investigation.

“Moreover, monthly and quarterly reports will be expected by the office of the inspector-general for monitoring and evaluation of this project.”

According to Nainda this will be done to ensure that the plan serves its intended purpose, and to address the loopholes promptly, as they are identified.

She further explained that police regional commanders and external stakeholders were consulted in developing the plan.

She said despite the efforts made by police, various law enforcement and pressure groups to either raise awareness, conduct operations or investigations, cases of GBV continue to disrupt communities.