City Police chief Abraham Kanime says gender-based violence (GBV) is more prevalent in the informal settlements where most of the poor and vulnerable live, and it should be tackled head-on.
As part of the 16 days of activism against the GBV campaign, Kanime yesterday said the police registered a total of 1 096 cases in Windhoek alone between 1 January to 26 November 2020.
He, however, noted that out of the 1 096 cases, a total of 1 028 cases have not been reported as criminal cases.
The total violent crimes that took place since January stands at 3 775, compared to the same period of 4 378 cases.
According to Kanime, although there is a reduction from last year, compared to this year, the police are determined to reduce further.
"This tells us that people don't want to report cases. There were many cases not reported. GBV became one of an issue of concern. As such, last year, we started compiling daily statistics from all the police stations within Windhoek. Most affected zones are in the informal settlement," Kanime said.
The 16 days of activism against GBV is an international campaign that takes place each year.
It commenced on 25 November, the international day for the elimination of violence against women to 10 December, Human Rights Day, indicating that violence against women is the most pervasive breach of human rights worldwide.
City Police uses operational strategic periods of 28 days interval to compile their data.
On domestic violence-related categories, Kanime said they recorded 12 cases of child abuse between 4 September and 26 November 2020.
The police also registered 294 cases related to emotional abuse, while 4 murder cases were also reported during the same period.
For physical abuse, the police reported 218 cases, while for economic abuse, they registered 71 cases.
Another area of concern is sexual abuse, which saw the police register 55 cases, while 10 cases were recorded for violation of court order.
"You can see we are in trouble. Our community is suffering out there. Physical abuse is very high. In most cases, offenders and victims are close relatives and partners. The highest category is ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends," he maintained.
Offenders and victim's relationship category between 4 September and 26 November 2020 show that 3 850 cases were registered among ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends, while 238 emanate from girlfriends or boyfriends.
For the husband-and-wife category, a total of 69 cases of abuse were registered, while four cases were reported to the police due to ex-husband and ex-wife related harms.
There is a challenge for parents and children.
Kanime said they registered 70 cases of abuse between parents and children, while for siblings, about 15 cases were reported.
Stranger abuses amount to 38 cases reported, and 30 cases of abuse came from extended relatives.
Kanime stated the highest category for offenders and victims range between 19 to 40 years.
Gender category shows that females are the highest victims, while men are the most offenders.
Most of these abuses take place in a home setting.
"It is something we need to start tackling head-on," Kanime said.
The challenges he mentioned include limited resources and infrastructure; fragmented investment and operational approaches; lack of skills and knowledge among law enforcement and other actors; lack of communication and collaboration between law enforcement and actors, and easy access to drugs and alcohol.