The Erongo Police, from January to October 2023, recorded 525 GBV-related cases.
Erongo Governor Neville Andre revealed this on the occasion of the World Aids Day commemoration and the launch of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
Of the 525 cases reported, 68 were rape cases, and 133 of them have been withdrawn.
Andre says the statistics are alarming, and the increased number of cases of sexual abuse of children is a major concern, especially when committed by their biological fathers, family members, relatives, and neighbours.
These, he adds, are people who are supposed to protect these children by ensuring that they are in a safe environment, free from abuse.
Gender-based violence has become a concern in society. The National GBV Baseline Study of 2017 indicated that the main GBV drivers are unequal power relations, poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, and negative cultural practices such as child marriage.
The study also reveals that the most common forms of GBV in Namibia are domestic violence and sexual abuse.
"Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent and certain human rights violations. It disturbs peace and stability in homes and in society at large. Hence, it contributes to high costs in healthcare, education, and the justice system, to mention just a few. It also denies women an opportunity to contribute to development in their own communities and society at large."
Andre further calls upon society to attend events of this nature and participate in GBV-related conversations either at the family, workplace, or community levels.
"This campaign calls for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. Each year, the campaign starts on the 25th of November, which is the International Day against Violence Against Women and Girls, and ends on the 10th of December, International Human Rights Day. During this period, the government and stakeholders are engaged in several activities, including creating awareness about GBV at different levels of society."
Also speaking at the event was the Deputy Director of the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Child Welfare, Beneditaka Kamanoko, who says men feel vulnerable in relationships, especially if their partners disagree with them.
Kamanoko added that such situations make already unstable relationships worse and irreparable, which can also lead to the loss of lives or GBV.