By Confidente Reporter
OPHTHALMOLOGIST Dr Helena Ndume has revealed that in recent months over 20 women sustained serious injuries to their eyes, during gruesome acts of domestic violence, perpetrated by their spouses and partners, over money.
She also revealed that at least two of the women had one of their eyes surgically removed, as a result of the violence. The eye doctor said that the attacks were also alcohol-related.
“We’ve rendered eye medical services to over 20 women in the past few months, because they were assaulted by their partners. The assaults resulted in serious injuries to their eyes. In two cases, we had to surgically remove the eyes. It is unfortunate for these women, because their lives are changed forever.
Ndume said that the attacks occurred mostly at the end of the month, when the women asked their partners for money to buy food and other basic items for their households.
“Most these assaults happened at the end the month. The women asked their partners for money, and because their partners failed to do so, they argued to the extent that they fought.
“As a result of such fights, they ended up with injuries to their eyes. We have managed to heal some, but others lost one of their eyes completely,” Ndume said.
She also said that alcohol-related fights resulted in 70 men aged between 18 and 40, sustaining serious injuries to their eyes.
Ndume said that of the 70 men, 12 had their eyes surgically removed.
“Alcohol-related fights amongst the 18 to 40 age group are a major concern for us. We’ve assisted at least 70 men in this age group, after they sustained injuries to their eyes, because of such fights.
“They abuse alcohol and end up fighting. We surgically removed one eye of at least 12 men. People should avoid abusing alcohol, because it has serious, life-changing consequences,” Ndume said.
Former Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) Secretary-General, Reverend Maria Kapere, told Confidente this week that she’s counselled women whose partners splurge their entire salaries on alcohol.
Kapere said that she is organising a group of pastors to collectively address socio-economic issues in the country.
“Gender-based violence is increasing alarmingly in Namibia, because of alcoholism and drug abuse. Women in intimate relationships, even marriages, are experiencing physical violence, due to drug and alcohol abuse. Men are spending more money on alcohol, drugs, and gambling, and these are causing violence against women,” Kapere said.
“They are being battered and even killed. Women are complaining about partners, who spend their entire income or salary on alcohol or drugs or on gambling. I had a case recently where a husband, who was not even drinking, beat up his wife, while he was demanding money to gamble. That case astonished me, because nobody expected that from this particular young man, as he has a moderate income and the wife is a domestic worker,” Kapere said.
“As a pastor you are confronted with these cases. Women come for counselling on an almost daily basis. I’m always engaging both partners. These kinds of problems do not disappear with one counselling session. Sometimes referrals are needed. It is time that all stakeholders – churches, constituency councillors, traditional leaders, trade unions and political parties address issues of domestic violence.”
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