DOMESTIC violence requires stringent action by the criminal justice system but compelling evidence exists that many of those affected never report the abuse to law enforcement.
This was the sentiment of governor of the Otjozondjupa Region, Otto Ipinge, while speaking at a two-day community violence prevention awareness campaign underway in the region.
Ipinge further expressed concerns that incidents reported every weekend on domestic violence in the Otjozondjupa Region are on the increase.
The campaign is spearheaded by the Office of the First Lady and officially kicked off at Otjiwarongo on Tuesday. The same campaign continued in Otavi on Wednesday.
Ipinge noted that despite the seriousness of the impact of domestic abuse, only a minority – possibly one in five – report their perpetrators.
Notably men, among those severely abused, are less likely than women to report domestic violence cases.
Equally, women and men give similar reasons for not reporting the abuse, most often that they prefer handling the situation themselves in fear of the shame or embarrassment they face despite the seriousness of the abuse.
“We are all aware of the devastating physical, social, emotional and financial impact of domestic violence upon individuals and families,“ Ipinge said.
While the risk to women is higher, domestic abuse is something that also affects a significant number of men.
“It should be noted however, that women’s injuries tend to be more serious, leading to medical treatment and more likely to require a stay in hospital,” he said.
Globally and in Namibia, statistics indicate that intimate partner violence is the most prevalent form of violence against women, affecting one in every three women and children.
“As a matter of concern, children exposed to violence are more likely to be perpetrators of violence as adults, and are more likely to suffer violence themselves. Therefore, I strongly urge that this cycle of violence must be stopped,” he continued
Ipinge concluded by saying that there needs to be multi-party resolves in tackling the issue of violence against especially women.
“As we may have observed in recent years, half of all the women killed in any given year in this country are murdered by intimate partners or relatives,” Ipinge said as a matter of fact.