Lockdown violence fears grow

Those who were already living in abusive circumstances will likely face “more extreme violence, and can no longer escape by going to work or seeing friends” during the lockdown period.

09 April 2020 | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITH

WINDHOEK



A surge in domestic violence cases fuelled by anxiety over health and financial security could be the next consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and the stay-at-home rules meant to keep Namibians safe from infection.

Veronica Theron, technical advisor in the Office of the First Lady, said during times of crisis, the risk of gender-based violence (GBV) escalates.

“We know GBV is rooted in power, anger and control. Right now, people may experience a lack of control over their lives.”

Theron said those who were already living in abusive circumstances will likely face “more extreme violence, and can no longer escape by going to work or seeing friends”.



Opportunity for abuse

Theron cautioned that although social distancing guidelines are crucial, “we should also recognise that it provides an opportunity for abusers to unleash more violence”.

Apart from escalating physical abuse, and fewer options to leave the house during turbulent times, the pandemic could push many vulnerable women into a deeper economic dependency on abusive partners, she added.

Economic dependency has been cited as a key barrier to fleeing violent relationships.

Theron urged the community to be vigilant about the safety of friends and family and to intervene before the violence escalates.



Global concerns

Globally, similar concerns have been raised.

In Italy, officials recently warned that a sharp fall in official domestic violence reports to the police and other helplines does not necessarily indicate a decrease in domestic abuse incidents.

A parliamentary committee into violence against women warned that the trend could instead signal that “victims of violence risk being even more exposed to control and aggression by a partner who mistreats them”.

Moreover, social distancing can lead to deadly isolation from help.

Namibian police spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, this week said she hopes the ban on alcohol will lead to a decline in domestic abuse cases.

Alcohol is frequently linked to violence in Namibia, she said, and the police have since the lockdown seen a slight decline in reported cases of GBV as well as other offences such as housebreakings and car crashes.

Between 21 and 27 March, 44 GBV cases were reported, compared to 39 between 28 March and 8 April, she said.

Clinical psychologist Dr Shaun Whittaker said the lockdown is also a chance for families to spend quality time together and to get to know each other all over again. “It could be an opportunity for renewal.”



Numbers to call:

Namibian police 10111

City Police 061 320 320

Lifeline/Childline 116, 106 and 232221 (crisis lines are open from 8:00 to 20:00)

Regain Trust 081 703 3203

Bel Esprit Mental Health Hospital 083 330 0945

Similar News

 

Esau offers N$23m assets for bail

12 hours ago | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEK Disgraced former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau yesterday denied that either he or his son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi had in any way benefited from...

Girl (4) drowns at Swakop

12 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK A four-year-old girl drowned this past weekend in Swakopmund, while her mother also nearly lost her life during a rescue...

Pandemic fuels risk of human trafficking

5 days ago - 02 July 2020 | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITH WINDHOEK The Covid-19 global health crisis has unleashed a Pandora's box of domino effects that experts fear are fuelling...

Police seize 'Covid prevention tea'

6 days ago - 01 July 2020 | Crime

STAFF REPORTERWALVIS BAYThe police on Monday seized illegal 'Covid-19 prevention tea' during a raid on Chinese shops in Walvis Bay. The traditional Chinese medicine had...

Nine arrested for wildlife crimes

6 days ago - 01 July 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNine suspects were arrested in connection with wildlife crimes and four new cases were registered last week.Four of the suspects were arrested in connection...

Illegal wildlife trade must be punished

6 days ago - 01 July 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK In its first global report on the illegal wildlife trade, the Financial Action Task Force (FAFT) has described it...

Girl four months pregnant by father

1 week ago - 30 June 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKA man was arrested last weekend at Omuthiya for the rape of his underaged daughter, who is now pregnant with his child.According to the...

Eight arrested for wildlife crimes

1 week ago - 26 June 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK While only two new cases of wildlife crimes were reported recently, eight suspects were arrested and charged. According to statistics provided by the...

We won’t drop Fishrot ball - ACC

2 weeks ago - 22 June 2020 | Crime

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says despite receiving only N$61 million in the national budget for 2020/21, with only N$2 million available for forensic investigations,...

Ten arrested for wildlife crimes

2 weeks ago - 19 June 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The clampdown on wildlife crime is continuing with ten suspects arrested and four new cases opened recently. Three of the...

Latest News

SPYL's Sikongo hands over seeds...

12 hours ago | Business

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught Namibia not to rely on other countries for imports of food, but instead produce its own food, as those countries...

Esau offers N$23m assets for...

12 hours ago | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEK Disgraced former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau yesterday denied that either he or his son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi had in any way benefited from...

Swartbooi 'awakening sleeping lions'

12 hours ago | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEK The Namibia National Liberation Veterans Association (NNLVA) says Landless People's Movement (LPM) leader Bernardus Swartbooi is “awakening sleeping lions” by calling founding...

Walvis Bay prisoners in panic...

12 hours ago | Health

OTIS FINCK AND OGONE TLHAGEWalvis Bay/Windhoek An inmate at the Walvis Bay prison is deeply concerned about hygiene at the correctional facility, which employs 77...

Big Oil confronts possibility of...

12 hours ago | Business

JULIEN MIVIELLEAlthough crude prices have rebounded from coronavirus crisis lows, oil experts are starting to ask if the industry has crossed the Rubicon of peak...

Lifestyle audits will uncover rot

12 hours ago | Opinion

Is it any coincidence that Namibian politicians own so much wealth whose source not even arithmetic geniuses can yet establish?Is it just by sheer luck...

German restaurants still hungry for...

12 hours ago | Business

By FLORIAN CAZERESThere's no sign of the usual lunch crowd at Berlin's Zen Kitchen, with just a few scattered diners dotting its terrace despite the...

GBV victim camps at police...

12 hours ago | Police

ILENI NANDJATOONDANGWAA gender-based violence (GBV) victim camped at the Ondangwa police station this past weekend after she was turned away on Friday and told to...

Girl (4) drowns at Swakop

12 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK A four-year-old girl drowned this past weekend in Swakopmund, while her mother also nearly lost her life during a rescue...

Load More