Acting President Mr Slumber Tsogwane Calls For Citizens Support On Violence Prevention

By Thandy Tebogo

 Acting President Mr Slumber Tsogwane has stated that citizens’ support remained the only option to the elimination and prevention of Gender Based Violence.

Vp Botswana

Mr Tsogwane said this at the Gender Based Violence (GBV) meeting organised by Botswana Police and Security Association of Botswana in Letlhakane on August 31.

Gender Based Violence or its fear, he said, could adversely affect the quality of the entire nation, hence its prevention remained critical to local development.

Acting President Tsogwane said GBV, whether physical, sexual, psychological or in any other form, was a direct gross violation of human rights.

He therefore implored the public to exercise the protection of vulnerable members of society and ensure that they indeed lived to the global view of Botswana as a peaceful country.

Government, through the support of United States of America piloted the GBV referral system in Maun/Shorobe and Mochudi/Artesia where critical service providers such as the police, health personnel, social workers, teachers, community leaders and civil society organisations were incapacitated on handling GBV cases and their referrals.

Mr Tsogwane indicated that government recognised the importance of providing places of safety for victims and as such continued to support the two existing shelters in Gaborone and Maun at an annual grant of P500 000 and P250 000 respectively.

The eleventh National Development Plan (NDP 11), he said, had made provision for the establishment and strengthening of safe haven for which the feasibility study was scheduled for 2018/19 financial year.

He noted that in as far as the world viewed Botswana as a peaceful nation; the internal environment told a different story.

He cited that in 2012, government in collaboration with Gender Links undertook a GBV indicators study which revealed that 67 per cent of women suffered some form of violence in their lifetime, while 44 per cent of men admitted to having perpetrated violence in their lifetime.

The study also revealed that 62 per cent of the violated women experienced such violence from their intimate partners.

The findings, he said, revealed that two out of three women had been violated.

The most shocking revelation from the study, he said, was that one out of nine cases of GBV was reported.

He said government, after noting the challenge, developed several interventions starting with the National Strategy on Ending GBV 2014 to 2020.

 Meanwhile, Boteti Men Sector chairperson, Superintendent Michael Maphephu said men sector had gone an extra mile to associate GBV with soaring numbers of new HIV/AIDS infections.

Supt Maphephu said most men still believed that sex could only be initiated by them and on their terms and grounds.

Alcohol and substance abuse, he said, was one of the contributing factors to GBV.

The day was complemented by a walk from the main kgotla to the bus rank to sensitise the community about gender based violence.

Source: allafrica.com

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