LAC tackling GBV response at courts

20 Jun 2014 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 20 JUN (NAMPA) – The Gender Research and Advocacy Project of the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) on Friday visited the Rehoboth Magistrate’s Court to discuss ways to improve Namibia’s response to victims of gender-based violence (GBV).
The one-day visit is the second of seven visits to magistrates’ courts around the country, aimed at engaging key personnel like magistrates, clerks, prosecutors, police and social workers employed at the courts in discussions on mechanisms used in neighbouring South Africa to address similar problems related to GBV.
The group earlier visited the Katutura Magistrate’s Court in Windhoek on Thursday.
Speaking at the Katutura Magistrate’s Court, LAC Director Toni Hancox said these visits will allow stakeholders to talk to frontline staff about the reality of GBV service provision, practical issues the courts are experiencing and how successful practices can be replicated across the country.
Reports about GBV are never-ending as the local media frequently report on stories of violent acts committed against women, children and men.
According to LAC statistics, one in four domestic violence abusers have already been convicted of a crime, while one in five victims of domestic violence withdraw their application before they receive a final protection order.
“One of the statistics which really made an impression on the LAC was the finding that more than one in five victims said their children had been harmed or threatened by the abuser,” Hancox stated.
The Gender Research and Advocacy Project’s members will travel to the Gobabis, Okahandja, Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein and Otavi Magistrate’s Courts in the next few days, with the visits set to end next Friday.