The numbers don't lie

Gender-based violence on the increase?

19 February 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected]

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,” Dianne Hubbard of the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) said.
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 government frequently pronounces new awareness campaigns, Hubbard points out that analysis of trends on the issue is sorely lacking in Namibia. “Many other countries undertake victim surveys to try and figure out how many crimes have actually been committed during a specific period to compare this with the number of reports made to police for that crime during the same period.”
She warned that 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 a lot remains to be done. 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, Hubbards said.
Moreover, she emphasised the need for divorce reform to make leaving marriages easier.

Similar News


Watch out for scammers, NamPol warns

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Crime

Namibian Police Force (NamPol) spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, cautioned government employees to be on the alert for a scam operated by people pretending to...

GBV prevention in the spotlight

1 week ago - 10 June 2021 | Crime

The Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare on Wednesday began with three days of training for its male staff members and members...

Police being sued for infant’s death

1 month - 10 May 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] bereaved family whose one-month-old son allegedly died in the back of a police van last month as a result of reckless and...

Campaigning for counselling

1 month - 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...

Multi-million mask deal goes sour

1 month - 20 April 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] Chinese owned tobacco company are suing to reclaim more than N$6 million they say was lost when a deal to buy 440...

Educate children on their rights - Husselman

2 months ago - 18 April 2021 | Crime

Children’s advocate Ingrid Husselmann said having a good legal framework for child protection is not enough in Namibia and more needs to be done to...

Khomasdal residents view NamPol with suspicion

2 months ago - 23 March 2021 | Crime

Vice chairperson of the Khomasdal Extension 3 neighbourhood watch, Hilma Iita, said residents do not trust the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) anymore, because “some members...

Protest against homophobic domestic violence bill

3 months ago - 17 March 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] justice ministry is under pressure to tweak an amended domestic violence bill to ensure protection for all victims of domestic violence despite...

CoTA students protest against harassment

3 months ago - 16 March 2021 | Crime

College of the Arts (CoTA) students in Katutura on Monday held a peaceful protest against alleged sexual harassment of female students by mechanics working at...

Reho school fire being investigated

3 months ago - 14 March 2021 | Crime

NamPol at Rehoboth are investigating the cause of the fire that extensively damaged a block at the Rehoboth High School on Thursday night.In a police...

Latest News

Are you being overcharged?

1 day - 18 June 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Marvin DanielsIt’s been more than a year since Namibia reported its first confirmed Covid-19 positive case in March 2020. Since then, the pandemic...

Charcoal activities unleash large-scale bush...

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Agriculture

Windhoek • [email protected] bush fires allegedly sparked by charcoal burning operations have razed around 35 000 hectares of grassland to the ground across seven farms...

Beatrice, Christine readying for Tokyo

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Sports

Henk Botha, coach of Namibia’s fastest female sprinters Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma, said the athletes are hopeful of reaching their set targets before travelling...

ECDs at schools shut down

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Education

The Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare has temporarily closed early childhood development centres (ECDs) operating within formal school premises countrywide, due...

More vaccination, testing centres on...

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Health

Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua said additional vaccination and testing centres would be identified in the region in a bid to bring services closer to the...

Watch out for scammers, NamPol...

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Crime

Namibian Police Force (NamPol) spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, cautioned government employees to be on the alert for a scam operated by people pretending to...

Melkies tests Tesla in Germany

3 days ago - 16 June 2021 | Business

The founder and owner of LEFA Transportation Services test-drove the future of transportationwhen he cruised around in a Tesla in Germany recently.Melkies Ausiku has long...

Second Online Agriculture Series on...

3 days ago - 16 June 2021 | Agriculture

Bank Windhoek hosts its second Online Agriculture Series on Wednesday and Thursday (23 & 24 June) themed “Innovation and Trends that will shape the future...

NMRC warns against ivermectin use

3 days ago - 16 June 2021 | Health

Namibian Medicines Regulatory Council (NMRC) Registrar, Johannes Gaeseb, said the use of ivermectin in human beings has not yet been registered or granted authorisation in...

Load More