Jade McClune at Swakopmund
MOST acts of violence against women and children are committed by people the victims know and trust, such as family members, caregivers and people in leadership positions.
“Therefore, I encourage the public at large to adopt a stance of zero tolerance for crime by reporting any known cases to the relevant authorities and by cooperating with the authorities to ensure that the perpetrators are held to account.”
This was the message of Gender Equality and Children Welfare Minister Doreen Sioka at the opening of the Erongo Expo in Walvis Bay last week. In light of the mounting number of cases of grievous gender-based violence (GBV) against women and children, she called on victims not to withdraw criminal charges against the perpetrators.
“I urge victims of violence to discard the worrying practice of withdrawing cases… and ultimately refusing to give evidence in court. Such practices allow the perpetrators of serious crimes to roam the streets and continue committing the same crimes.
“Communities should also not put pressure on victims of crime to withdraw cases or refuse to testify. We should rather support and help victims to come forward and help to bring the perpetrators to book,” she said.
Her comments came in a week when the public was assaulted on a daily basis by gruesome reports of rape, child abuse, murder and suicide, which culminated over the weekend in the death of 39-year-old Lindie Prinsloo, whose throat was allegedly cut at her home in Harder Street, Vineta in Swakopmund, by a 29-year-old boyfriend, Ivan Pitt.
A police manhunt for the murder suspect over the weekend concluded on Monday when Pitt was found hanging from a wooden beam in the garage of the house at Harder Street, having committed suicide at the crime scene where he reportedly murdered Prinsloo on Saturday afternoon.
The minister said that “men and boys have a big role to play in the prevention of gender-based violence, and violence against children, as well as the promotion of gender equality” and advised the public to approach the Erongo Regional Council and local constituency offices to access all available gender equality and child welfare services in the region “with immediate effect”.
Minister Sioka also called for ‘gender responsive budgeting” to ensure that public resources are allocated in ways that advance gender equality and women’s empowerment, saying women’s work often goes unrecognized – if not unnoticed.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015