GBV remains great concern for Rehoboth

GBV remains great concern for Rehoboth
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Gender-based violence (GBV) remains a great concern within the community of Rehoboth, with dependency being the biggest contributor to the increase in the number of cases there, the Namibian Police Force has said.
In comparison to the festive season of 2016, where 29 cases were reported and 11 cases in 2017, 39 GBV cases were reported at the town in 2018.
In a recent interview with Nampa, Stephanus Beukes, the acting Unit Commander of NamPol’s GBV Protection Unit in Rehoboth, said that educating members of the community, awareness from the police and social workers on GBV issues can help combat the crises.
“There is so much a unit can do when faced with a GBV related case. The biggest problem is that the effected parties are often dependent on the suspects, which leads to cases being withdrawn and also the retrieval of reports made,” he explained.
This is because the if the suspect is in custody there will not be anyone to feed or take care of the family as in many cases most of the victims are not able to provide for themselves, he added.
This does not help the case, nor the victim, because the second the accused is released, the abuse continues, which sometimes gets out of hand, he added.
However, the unit does issue formal warnings to the offenders and also provides mediation between the parties affected.
The commander applauded the relationship the unit has with the police station of the town but encouraged training among the officers on duty at the station and sensitise them on GBV cases and how to deal with them.
He further explained that when a victim has been raped, it’s not ideal to go to the station and talk in front of everyone present about the trauma.
He also noted that men also suffer from abuse, open cases and later withdraw them because of the stigma and also because they do not want to send their child’s mother to prison, adding that male suspects usually suffer in silence.