Efforts to support the fight against child rape / GBV
RAPE charges are viewed as very sensitive, serious and horrifying violation of personal dignity and integrity, especially when it is done on an innocent child; and the Namibian Police Force treat them as such. As law enforcers we have the mandate to investigate these dreadful acts and assist the victims in the most professional manner. This is done in partnership with social workers in order to support with the emotional aspect of these cases.
Statistics for 2019/2020 reveal that rape cases have increased by 1.3% with a total of 1 130 cases reported compared to 1 115 recorded in 2018/2019 contrywide.
Khomas region has recorded the highest rape cases while Kavango West has the lowest with 33 rape cases recorded.
The investigation into those cases varies from case to case and arrest is evidence based. For a rape case to have more merit evidence must be collected and therefore victims of rape always undergo a medical examination. Therefore, investigative action steps such as the immediate availability of evidence or further search and subsequent arrest of the suspect is very critical.
The safety of women and children still remains a challenge as they are still suffering violence in their homes where they are supposed to feel protected and safe. Some women still suffer in silence; however as law enforcement we continue to encourage women to break the silence, by reaching out to services and assistance. This is done through educational or awareness raising programmes through the media, schools visits and community engagement. These efforts are made jointly with stakeholders such as civil society organisations, UNICEF, the MGEPRCW and many others; so as to bring a changed society where we can live as fellow human beings without any form of violence.
There is however a need for continuous education and awareness, where we can also include men in order to see changes in our society. As it is a known fact; men are the culprits in rape cases and therefore and ideally men should also lead other men in some educational campaigns if we want realise the change.
The Namibian Police Force’s appeal to every Namibian is to join hands in the fight against rape and other criminal activities; starting with education in our homes with our families. I urge mothers particularly to ensure their children’s safety by speaking and educating them often on these types of crimes, especially the girl child.