A 14-year-old girl is now living in at a shelter surrounded by strangers, after her family shunned her for reporting her father for allegedly raping and threatening to kill her barely a month ago.
The girl has also been forced to drop out of school, because she has nowhere to live.
She has been insulted by relatives and community members in her village in the North of the country.
She said she came home one night and her father called her to come to him.
“He told me I must take off my clothes. He took off my panties, and then he was sleeping on top of my private parts,” she said.
She added that she jumped over the fence to report the incident to their neighbour, an elderly lady who immediately took her to the police station.
“My family said he will be arrested for the rest of his life and that I must go and look for another father. They said I have done a wrong thing,” the teenager whispered.
Although she says she knows reporting him was the right thing to do, she feels guilty for having done so, because she must now beg for things that otherwise would have been provided by her father.
At the same shelter is a 21-year-old woman, who stared death in the face not too long ago, when the father of her unborn baby threatened to “chop” open her womb to remove his child.
According her, everything was fine in their relationship until she fell pregnant seven months ago.
She had been dating her boyfriend for nine months.
“He locked me in at night without matches to light a candle or even food to eat. He did not want me to see people at all,” Miriam (not her real name) said softly.
“He always insulted me and one night he came home drunk and started hitting me,” she said, adding that her boyfriend was provoked when she asked him for money to go to the North to stay with her
“He started to hit me… and then I fell and he was still beating me and then he took out the knife and said: “This is not why I gave you my baby. You can go, but I will take my baby out,” she said.
“He was kicking me… people were outside but no one came to help me. Only later a meme came and took him off me. I was weak I could not even walk,” she said before sobbing uncontrollably.
According to her, police officers who came to intervene shrugged off her complaints, saying they must sort out their business, because it is a domestic affair.
According to Jacky Hoff, one of the caregivers at the shelter, they recently took in a brother and sister who were both sexually abused by their parents.
“The father first started to sexually molest the girl and the mother reported it to us, but later the mother started sexually exploiting her son too,” said Hoff, before adding that the boy cried every day because he wanted to return to his “mommy”.
“He did not understand what was happening.
It was so heartwrenching, he cried every day. A deep inconsolable cry,” she said.
According to her 80 to 90% of the women that have been in the shelter eventually return to their violent partners.
According to the shelter in-house social worker Prisca Mutambo the women choose to return to their abusive partners and continue to be trapped in the violent cycle, because they are afraid to be on their own.
“They are so dependent on their partners and they always say they have children and they do not want my children to grow up without a father.”
Namibia is in the midst of a passion killing epidemic, with murder of women by their partners being reported every week
“Protection orders are just paper.
These men stalk their victims and it is difficult to enforce,” said Mutambo.
WINDHOEK JEMIMA BEUKES