Schlip residents protest violence against women and children

01 Mar 2017 10:10am
SCHLIP, 01 MAR (NAMPA) – Approximately 120 residents of Schlip settlement in the Hardap Region on Tuesday took to the streets in protest of violence against women and children here.
The protest was organised by community activist, Loretta Smit.
Smit told Nampa that violence against women and children has reached alarming heights in the community, noting that no female is safe from becoming a victim of violence.
“The time has come for us Schlip residents to address this extreme form of abuse and find ways to stop it,” she said.
Smit said their region was last year labelled as “Namibia’s rape and murder capital” in a report carried by a local newspaper.
She said statistics compiled by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Crime Investigations Unit and presented to senior officers revealed that 66 murder cases have been reported in Hardap between 2013 and 2014.
Smit said it is disturbing for children to grow up in a violent community, because a community should be a safe place to live in.
“Children growing up in a violent community often experience emotional and behavioural problems even if they indirectly experience violence,” the activist said.
Protestors petitioned the NamPol regional commander and Mariental Magistrate’s Court.
Amongst their concerns were delays in finalising murder and rape cases, and the seriousness of crimes committed against women and children.
The community therefore called on the courts to speed up the process in accordance with national legislation and prosecute offenders within a reasonable time.
“These delays cause the community to lose confidence in the protection of women under the Namibian law,” Smit said.
The petition was signed by more than 120 people before it was handed over to the Station Commander of Schlip Police Station, Angela Bezuidenhoudt.
Bezuidenhoudt, upon receiving the petition, said she will make sure it reaches the relevant authorities as soon as possible.