Windhoek-Gender Equality and Child Welfare Deputy Minister Lucia Witbooi advised people to change their mindset towards gender-based violence and not to use sharp objects when expressing their anger.
Witbooi advised people to approach someone and talk about their problems instead of resorting to gender-based violence. “The ministry has a Gender-Based Violence Investigation Unit, where we have social workers. People can go for services such as counselling,” said Witbooi.
The deputy minister said if one looks at gender-based violence statistics from 2013 to 2015, its prevalence has decreased. There were about 3 847 GBV cases reported in 2013, 4 714 in 2014 while 2 581 cases were reported in 2015.
However, Witbooi said she didn’t have 2016 statistics available.
Witbooi stated she sometimes tells people to count from one to ten as this will minimize their anger and this could apparently prevent the person from reacting violently.
The deputy minister further said she was disheartened about a case of baby-dumping reported at Arandis last week.
“As we started this year, there are already cases being reported. I’m concerned about what is happening and can’t allow it to go on like this – baby dumping, assaults and killing each other,” lamented Witbooi.
“We can change the set-up but everyone must take it upon themselves to contribute to decrease GBV. We must change our mindset and stop using sharp objects,” she said.
She said although she visits communities countrywide she is not there everyday, hence she called on church and traditional leaders and various groups in the community to preach against GBV.
She also called upon schools and teachers to teach learners against violence and not to use sharp objects during fights.
On baby dumping, Witbooi called on mothers and girls to speak out or contact the ministry if they are experiencing problems.
She said mothers can approach the ministry and they can work on whatever problem that’s there. She added that instead of dumping the baby the mother can give the baby up for adoption.