No shelter for adult GBV victims in the regions

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Namibia is grappling with a deficit in safe houses catering to adult victims of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the various regions of the country.

This was confirmed to the Windhoek Observer by various police regional commanders on Wednesday when questioned on how they handle GBV victims.

This comes in the wake of increasing GBV cases in the country.

Hardap Region crime investigations cordinator deputy commissioner, Eric Clay disclose that although a safe house exists in the region, it has been non-operational since 2020.

“There is a safe house, but it’s not operational. There have been no staff members since 2020, and it’s a problem. Luckily we have a team of social workers and we make arrangements with the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare (MGEPESW). In Rehoboth, I heard there is a private safe house but it’s only for minors,” he stated.

Erongo Regional Commander, Commissioner Nikolaus Kupembona, also highlighted the lack of facilities for adult victims in the region.

He said while there is a shelter for children in the region, for adults arrangements are made with immediate family members.

“In Erongo there is a shelter for minor children. For adults, we normally arrange with immediate family members, but also if it is an adult that needs safety based on arrangement we can accommodate them for up to four days because there is no facility for adults,” said Kupembona.

In the Kavango East region, acting regional commander deputy commissioner Bonifatius Kanyetu revealed that although there are two safe rooms, they are not suitable for adults.

“The place is not suitable for adults. There is no provision for supplies for adult victims, and it’s supposed to be a comfortable place. The one we have is suitable for minors.”

In the capital city, Katrina Namboga of the City Police confirmed that they do not have any safe houses and simply refer victims to MGEPESW.

In her budget motivation speech this week, gender minister Doreen Sioka said a total number of 18 victims were accommodated at the shelters during the period from April to December 2023.

She did not explain where the shelters were.

She also added that during the awareness campaigns on GBV and Violence Against Children as well as Trafficking in Persons, a total of 18,094 people (including Children and adults) were reached.

Last year, Sioka announced that the ministry had allocated N$2 million annually to subsidise 18 residential child-care shelters and GBV facilities across eight regions.

She emphasised that the ministry, by court orders, places children requiring care and protection in these essential facilities.

She added that such facilities play an indispensable role in safeguarding the well-being of the vulnerable children.

Related Posts