GBV thrust at heart of govt agenda

15 February 2021 | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



Government wants to put gender-based violence (GBV) at the centre of public discourse with its newly launched mass media campaign, information minister Peya Mushelenga said last week.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, the minister said GBV symbolises barbarism and backwardness and has a very bad effect on victims and children.

“We will advocate for and work towards a shared understanding of the root causes of GBV in our society by reaching out to parents, community leaders, churches, civil society, schools and youth organisations in an effort to work together to seize the moment and move quickly so that the momentum is not lost,” he said. He added that Namibians must do more to end this horrible abuse and the impunity which allows for the perpetuation of these crimes.



Immediate, coordinated response

Mushelenga said when it comes to the prosecution of offenders, ending impunity means that laws must be enforced. “Women must have access to the police to file a criminal report and receive legal advice and protection orders. The response to violence must be immediate, coordinated and effective so that crimes are punished and justice is secured,” he added. The campaign, aimed at promoting behavioural change, is targeted mainly towards men and women between the ages of 18 and 55 and will be rolled out through various media agencies as well as digital and social media platforms.



Grim

Chief Justice Peter Shivute last week announced that between January 2018 and December 2020, magistrate courts in Namibia registred a total of 6 352 new domestic violence cases. Moreover, magistrate's issued 5 048 interim protection orders over the three years, in addition to granting a total of 2 601 final protection orders.

Shivute underlined that the high number of domestic violence related matters show that “violence in the home continues to be a source for grave concern.



Clear action

Deputy gender minister Bernadette Maria Jagger said clear action and timelines were agreed upon during a dialogue with key stakeholders on GBV and the #ShutItAllDown movement on 23 November 2020.

She was speaking on behalf of gender minster Doreen Sioka. “Pertinent to our discussions with the #ShutItAllDown movement was the visibility of the ministry's activities on GBV through social media and other media platforms. I am glad that through this initiative we will intensify our social media campaigns,” she said.[email protected]

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