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



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


Suspected stock thieves on the run

1 hour ago | Crime

OTIS DANIELS SWAKOPMUNDPolice confirmed an incident of stock theft that took place at farm Waldheim between last Thursday and Sunday in the...

Security cluster shares challenges

2 days ago - 03 August 2021 | Police And Crime

LEANDREA LOUWWALVIS BAYThe security cluster continues to face challenges in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. Deputy commissioner Tobias Gerber briefed the minister of home...

Hardap records 229 stock theft cases

3 days ago - 02 August 2021 | Crime

NAMPA MARIENTALThe Namibian police in the Hardap Region arrested 207 suspects in connection with 229 stock theft cases during the 2020/21 financial...

Pensioner loses N$50k to scammers

6 days ago - 30 July 2021 | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI A 60-year-old retired teacher lost N$50 000 to scammers who pretended to be police officers on Monday...

Namibia ranked 62nd safest globally

1 week ago - 29 July 2021 | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibia was ranked as the 62nd safest country to visit globally among 134 other countries, with Covid-19 deaths per capita that played a major...

Poaching numbers drop

1 week ago - 27 July 2021 | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThis year to date only four elephants have been poached in comparison to the 12 elephants that were poached last year.In 2014, when poaching...

11-month-old baby girl raped

1 week ago - 26 July 2021 | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThree children raped over the weekendThree suspects have been arrested for the rape of minors in different regions of the country on Saturday.A 24-year-old...

GBV cases drop, Covid-19 may be why

1 week ago - 26 July 2021 | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKA 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...

Beware of criminals posing as cops

1 week ago - 26 July 2021 | Crime

ESTER KAMATIOTJIWARONGOPeople in the Tsumkwe Constituency last month fell victim to a man who passed himself off as a constable by the name of Martin...

Opuwo police arrest more than 30 for contravening regulations

2 weeks ago - 22 July 2021 | Crime

NAMPA OPUWOMore than 30 people were detained at Opuwo from the beginning of June...

Latest News

Vaccinated northern chiefs urge subjects...

1 hour ago | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI Communities often look to traditional and religious leaders for advice on how to live. In northern Namibia, these...

EDITORIAL: Happy 80th birthday, Mr...

1 hour ago | Opinion

Today we pause to wish, though belatedly, President Hage Geingob a revolutionary and happy birthday.On the day he turned 80, the usual pomp and fanfare...

DRC fire victims get new...

1 hour ago | Accidents

Adolf Kaure SWAKOPMUNDHome affairs minister Albert Kawana recently handed over 33 identity documents (IDs)...

Suspected stock thieves on the...

1 hour ago | Crime

OTIS DANIELS SWAKOPMUNDPolice confirmed an incident of stock theft that took place at farm Waldheim between last Thursday and Sunday in the...

Delgado-Lühl citizenship judgement postponed

1 hour ago | Justice

JANA-MARI SMITH WINDHOEK The much anticipated judgement in a citizenship case of...

Food security assessed this month

1 hour ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe latest assessment to determine the status of livelihood and food insecurity countrywide is scheduled to take place this month.Anna Dumeni of the Office...

The basic form and structure...

1 hour ago | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKIt is important to know the basic form and structure of plants to understand how plants grow and produce seeds and fruits.The technical advisor...

Rangeland management for better grazing

1 hour ago | Agriculture

KIRSTY WATERMEYEROKAHANDJAA Namibian farmer is proving the benefits of holistically managing farmland for better cattle farming results.“The more grass you have, the more cattle you...

Global community must unite against...

1 hour ago | Opinion

NALEDIA PANDOROn 18 July the world marked 103 years since the birth of our late beloved global icon and first president of our democratic republic,...

Load More