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Build more safe havens for GBV victims: Gebhardt

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Business Woman and Advocate of Women issues Anne Gebhardt on Monday called on government to look into setting up homes or offices where women who experience Gender Based Violence (GBV) can be accommodated.

Gebhardt made her contribution to discussions on GBV during the consultative dinner with Members of Parliamnent (Mps), Female High Commisioners and leaders of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) held at the Hilton Hotel here on Monday.

The consultative dinner which was an initiative of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW) was aimed at discussing the scope and magnitude of GBV and to look at the current strategies of the MGECW.

The meeting also served as a platform for the MGECW to learn from the broad experiences of the MPs, High Commissioners and leaders of the CSOs on how to address GBV, in order to consolidate efforts that will contribute to the reduction of GBV.

¨ What I have mostly observed is that women suffer in silence and most of them do not have the courage to go and discuss their issues with anybody,¨ Gebhardt said.

Gebhardt suggested that government set up homes where if a women is suffering or experiencing physical violence that she can go to this place and share what she is going through with the person there.

Women do not have to wait until they are beaten, she said thus there is a need for places to be set up where women who experience GBV whether it be in the form of verbal abuse should just feel comfortable to go to.

¨ Women suffer in silence and that is why we die. We have no-one to share our issues with,¨ said Gebhadt.

Speaking at the same event Elma Dienda from the Catholic Church said the Women Child Protection Units are not user friendly at all.

Dienda said when people go there to lay charges that they are under going one or another kind of abuse from their partners, they are questioned as if they committed a crime themselves.

¨So training for Namibian Police women and men who are entitled to help victims of GBV would really be helpful. These people do not have training and are thus insensitive when dealing with issues of GBV,¨ Dienda said.

Due to the manner in which GBV victims are treated when reporting such cases, the Catholic Church representative said, they rather opt to suffer in silence.

(edited)WINDHOEK; Businesswoman and advocate for women’s issues Anne Gebhardt on Monday called on Government to look into setting up homes where women who experience gender-based violence (GBV) can be accommodated.

Gebhardt made her contribution to discussions on GBV during a consultative dinner with Members of Parliament (MPs); female High Commissioners and leaders of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) here on Monday.

The consultative dinner which was an initiative of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare was aimed at discussing the scope and magnitude of GBV and looking at the current strategies of the ministry.

The meeting also served as a platform for the Ministry of Gender to learn from the broad experiences of the MPs, High Commissioners and leaders of the CSOs on how to address GBV, in order to consolidate efforts that will contribute to its reduction.

“What I have mostly observed is that women suffer in silence and most of them do not have the courage to go and discuss their issues with anybody,” Gebhardt stated.

She then made her suggestion for homes for women experiencing physical violence, saying such women would be able to such places and share what they are going through with someone there.

“Women suffer in silence and that is why we die. We have no-one to share our issues with,” said Gebhardt.

Speaking at the same event, gender desk coordinator at the Namibian Catholic Bishops Conference Elma Dienda said the police’s Women and Child Protection Units are not user-friendly.

Dienda said when people go to the units to lay charges of abuse against their partners, they are questioned as if they themselves committed a crime.

“Training for Namibian Police officers who help victims of GBV would really be helpful. These people do not have training and are thus insensitive when dealing with issues of GBV,” Dienda stated.

She then indicated that this treatment leads to women opting to rather suffer in silence.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/asianet/130410/build-more-safe-havens-gbv-victims-gebhardt