Over 6 000 GBV cases registered in three years

It is unclear how the statistics reflect on Namibia's epidemic of gender-based and domestic violence, as no trend analysis has been done.

22 February 2021 | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITH

WINDHOEK



Namibian magistrate's courts registered more than 6 300 domestic violence applications over the past three years, in addition to over 5 000 interim protection orders and more than 2 600 final protection orders.

In 2018, 1 938 survivors turned to the magistrate's courts for help, and in 2019 just over 2 000 survivors approached the courts. Last year, a total of 2 370 domestic applications were registered.

It is unclear how the numbers reflect on Namibia's epidemic of gender-based and domestic violence.

“We do not have enough information to analyse the trends accurately. Is domestic violence increasing, or are people who suffer domestic violence becoming more willing to reach out for assistance? It is difficult to know which of these scenarios might be leading to high case numbers,” says Dianne Hubbard of the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC).

James Itana of the Regain Trust says in his view these numbers are a sign that more survivors are reaching out and seeking help, but warned that these numbers are “still just the tip of the iceberg.”

He underlined that access to services for survivors is still “a major obstacle that we are battling within Namibia, especially amongst our marginalised and rural communities.”



Violent society

While Namibia's GBV problem is widely recognised and the government frequently runs new awareness campaigns, Hubbard points out that analysis of trends is sorely lacking in Namibia.

“Many other countries do victim surveys to try and figure out how many crimes have actually been committed during a specific period, in order to compare this with the number of reports made to police for that crime during the same period.” She warned Namibia still has a long way to go “to resolve not just GBV but the generally high levels of violence including violence between males and reckless actions that lead to injury (such as reckless driving).”

She pointed out that attitudes towards violence of any form contribute to the problem in Namibia.

So many people bemoan the levels of GBV but still believe that beating children is a useful form of discipline - when in fact, we should be teaching our children that there are non-violent ways of resolving problems, that they must always show respect for other persons and that all persons of any sex or age have an equal right to be treated with dignity.”

Earlier this month, the judiciary announced that magistrate's courts in 2018 granted 1 520 interim protection orders, 1 693 in 2019 and 1 835 in 2020. This totalled more than 5 000 interim protection orders.

In contrast, a total of 2 601 final protection orders were granted over the same three years.

Hubbard notes this is a “very important” difference that should be investigated. “Did the interim order solve the problem, or was the victim intimated not to return to court make the order final?”



Services, services, services

Itana and Hubbard stressed the need for more services to survivors.

“We have made great strides as a country to strengthen the provision of these services but al lot remains to be made.

Services are still not readily available and accessible and in some instances or some parts of the country these services do not exist at all,” Itana said.

He warned that services are not only there to protect survivors, but to hold perpetrators accountable and to assist survivors to heal and move on with their lives.

“In instances where the survivor may have been economically dependent on the perpetrator efforts should be made to economically empower survivors. Not empowering survivors can increase their continued risk and vulnerability towards GBV in the future.”

Practical assistance, access to shelter and grants that boost financial security are crucial tools to help women leave abusive relationships, Hubbard said. Moreover, she emphasised the need for divorce reform to make leaving marriages easier.

Similar News

 

Brit kills South African at Kamanjab

2 days ago - 02 March 2021 | Crime

NAMPA KHORIXASA 54-year-old South African national died on Saturday after he was allegedly shot with a pistol at farm Kaross in the...

‘Not me’: Calle distances himself from scam impersonation

3 days ago - 01 March 2021 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe agriculture and lands ministry has warned the public against a scam fraudulently using the name of minister Calle...

Oshana police warn against mob justice

1 week ago - 25 February 2021 | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATIPolice in the Oshana Region have warned the public not to take the law into their own hands.Inspector Thomas Aiyambo told Namibian Sun that...

Mob justice claims suspect's life near Oshakati

1 week ago - 24 February 2021 | Crime

NAMPAOSHAKATIA 36-year-old man from Omaalala village in the Oshana Region died on Tuesday after a mob of angry residents attacked him for allegedly breaking into...

Curfew: Police pounce on restaurants

1 week ago - 24 February 2021 | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKPolice cracked down on restaurants that were operating after 20:00 at the weekend, arresting at least three people, including a 60-year-old woman.The police claimed...

Man commits suicide at nephew’s baptism

1 week ago - 23 February 2021 | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI A 37-year-old man allegedly took his own life on Sunday evening...

Hatuikulipi’s N$65m ‘bribe’ kitty

1 week ago - 22 February 2021 | Crime

OGONE TLHAGEFishrot whistleblower Johannes Stefansson claims that the N$65 million paid to former Fishcor board chairperson James Hatuikulipi between 2014 and 2019 were bribes made...

Hatuikulipi disguised bribes as facilitation

1 week ago - 22 February 2021 | Crime

OGONE TLHAGEFishrot whistleblower Johannes Stefansson claims that Fishrot kingpin James Hatuikulipi disguised bribes paid to him as “facilitation fees”.Hatuikulipi’s entity, Tundavala, is alleged to have...

Child sexually assaulted while sleeping

1 week ago - 22 February 2021 | Crime

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKAn 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted while she was sleeping, allegedly by a 23-year-old man, at Mariental on Sunday.It is alleged that while the...

Over 6 000 GBV cases registered in three years

1 week ago - 22 February 2021 | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITHWINDHOEKNamibian magistrate's courts registered more than 6 300 domestic violence applications over the past three years, in addition to over 5 000 interim protection...

Latest News

Letshego Nam takes N$60-mln profit...

4 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Locally-listed Letshego Holdings Namibia reported a profit of about N$341.4 million for the year ended 31 December 2020, a drop of nearly...

Otjikoto sitting on a gold...

14 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – B2Gold’s Otjikoto mine is expected to reach record-level production this year and through to 2024, the Canada-based low-cost international senior gold producer...

Mining survey: Chamber hits back

14 hours ago | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU Too few responses have skewed Namibia's performance on the 2020 Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies, tarnishing its image as an attractive investment...

‘Not up to you’

14 hours ago | Education

TUYEIMO HAIDULA ONGWEDIVA Higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi says institutions of higher learning...

Sioka in hot water over...

14 hours ago | Ministries

JANA-MARI SMITH WINDHOEKThe clock is ticking for child welfare minister Doreen Sioka who has less than a month to present a...

Corruption - A social disease...

14 hours ago | Columns

Johan CoetzeeGiven ongoing media articles about governance, manifested in contraction of investment and increasing unemployment, it is appropriate to reflect on several trends covering several...

EDITORIAL

14 hours ago | Opinion

The phony attempts by mainly men in the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) to undermine its president Esther Muinjangue will only further dissuade women from...

Drought policy in review to...

14 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe agriculture ministry is in the process of reviewing the country’s drought...

Nam mining licence loophole closed

14 hours ago | Business

From the beginning of April this year, Namibians who hold mineral licences will no longer be allowed to transfer it to foreign companies or persons...

Load More