Campaigning for counselling

Ending vicious cycles

21 April 2021 | Crime

Members of Parliament (MPs) have proposed compulsory counselling and psychological support for victims, perpetrators or anyone exposed to gender-based violence to end the cycle of violence in Namibian society.
MPs made the proposal in the National Assembly during a debate on the Combating of Domestic Violence Amendment Bill earlier this week.
Swapo parliamentarian Maureen Hinda said GBV is often a vicious cycle and it is important that everyone subjected to it receive counselling in order to assist people dealing with trauma and end the cycle. “Many women who were victims, their children and other people who witnessed a murder or who become indirect victims of violence, never received counselling. They continue to live a life of trauma,” Hinda said.
NUDO president Esther Muinjangue said most perpetrators of GBV were victims or exposed to violence themselves. “When we provide counselling, we need to put more emphasis on providing perpetrators with rehabilitation programmes and also make it compulsory by law, because at the moment counselling is a voluntary service that people can refuse.”

Root of violence
PDM parliamentarian Elma Dienda said there is a need for government to build state rehabilitation centres for alcoholics and drug addicts as alcohol and drugs often are at the root of violence.
She said the government also needs to consider subsidising private rehabilitation centres to make these accessible and affordable for the general public.
PDM leader McHenry Venaani said parliamentarians themselves should set an example in the way they conduct themselves, especially when addressing female parliamentarians. “We should sharpen each other in this house as men and really use language that is honourable because we are called this name, honourable, but our conduct sometimes become so horrible that we should not be called honourable. We must raise the bar, and there must be standards for leadership. Leadership is not to insult people, but to disagree and agree on matters of principle and getting personal and attacking each other is unacceptable,” he said. – Nampa

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