Despite the various initiatives put in place by government and the civil society to combat Gender Based Violence (GBV) across the country, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has said reports continue to escalate.
Delivering the state of the nation address this week, Masisi expressed disappointment that despite government’s various interventions, reports continue to escalate with women and children being demeaned, bullied, defiled, raped and murdered.
Masisi stressed the need for society to introspect and establish whether GBV is consistent with cultural values. He raised a concern that values and societal norms in terms of treatment of girls and women to boys and men have been eroded.
Among the interventions that have been put forth are campaigns such as the 16 days of activism against GBV and ‘e seng mo ngwaneng’ campaign which is aimed at protecting the girl child. A GBV unit was also introduced by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) to ensure that GBV victims get the needed attention on issues of moral support and ensuring that their cases are promptly attended to.
Masisi has since called on the public to revive strong families, community structures and values that will nurture responsible citizens who regard and treat others with dignity.
Masisi applauded various stakeholders that have collaborated in various initiatives that promote acceptable norms and social behaviour within the society and raising awareness against GBV. He has also urged all stakeholders to continue with noble efforts towards eliminating GBV.
In an interview leader of Gender and Child Protection Unit at Maun Police Station, sub-inspector Segopolo Lefatshe revealed that in 2021 they registered 99 cases of rape and this year from January to September their unit had registered 65 cases of the criminal offence.
“We also recorded 81 cases of defilement in 2021 and 27 cases as of September this year, furthermore we also recorded four murder cases last year and 4 this year from January to September 2022,” Lefatshe said.
The sub-inspector has also raised concern over victims of GBV, particularly men, who shy away from utilising their unit. He further emphasised that men are also affected by GBV, hence the unit is for all genders.
“Men should not be ashamed to report issues of GBV, with this unit you get the privacy you deserve and relevant officers to assist in such issues,” Lefatshe advised.