Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) McHenry Venaani, Leader has urged government to consider the fight against child rape a priority to eradicate social evil that leaves children traumatised.
He calls on the government to allocate additional resources to law enforcement agencies to investigate child rape cases efficiently.
In a statement, Venaani stated that the government should establish specialised units to deal with such sensitive matters and ensure that justice is served swiftly.
At the same time, Venaani said the judicial system should also prioritise child rape cases, to ensure fair and timely trials for the perpetrators.
According to him, the recent reports of child rape cases in the country are not only distressing but also demand immediate and decisive action from all relevant stakeholders.
He also highlighted that despite the comprehensive legal and policy framework, issues pertaining to the safety and protection of children in the country remain prevalent and persistent.
“It is for this reason, I condemn the harm and sexual violence perpetrated against women and children in the country, he stated.
Venaani noted that over the years, there has been an increasing number of rape cases reported, particularly carried out against children.
The parliamentarian urged the government, civil society organisations, and media outlets to work together to create widespread awareness about the alarming rise in child rape cases.
“Educational programs should be implemented in schools and communities to teach children about their rights, how to recognise signs of abuse and where to seek help,” he stressed.
Parents and caregivers should be educated on how to protect their children and identify potential risks, he proposed.
He is also appealing for the establishment of comprehensive support services for survivors and their families.
Official opposition leader is also is advocating for stringent penalties for those found guilty of committing child rape.
“The legal system should ensure that these criminals face the full force of the law, deterring others from engaging in such abhorrent acts,” he reiterated.
Stating that community involvement is one of the keys success to fighting and curbing such social evil as child rape.
While encouraging for a collective effort from all segments of society, Venaani calls for unity against child rape and creates an environment where children feel safe, protected and empowered to report any abuse they may encounter.
“Let us not allow this dark reality to define our nation. Together, we can eradicate child rape from our society,” he stated.
According to 2019’s Violence Against Children and Youth Survey, among 18- to 24-year-olds, 39.6 percent of women and 45 percent of men had experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence in childhood, Venaani said.
The 2022 Disrupting Harm survey focusing on online child sexual exploitation and abuse reported that 9 percent of Internet users aged 12-17 in Namibia were subjected to clear examples of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. This amounts to roughly 20,000 children per year.