The Deadly Shadow Of Gender Violence

Gender-based violence (GBV) killings continue to cast a long and dark shadow over Namibia to the extent that it is tearing at the very fabric of our society.

This week the nation was jolted by the murder of Eva-Lena Kalimbo, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend, Kapule Ndaoya, who was subsequently shot dead by the police.

On Monday, Sonia Ndimulunde was shot in the head, allegedly by her boyfriend, David Valungameka, who then killed himself.

In August, Delin !Nawases’ throat was slit, allegedly by her boyfriend, Dencel Kapitako.

These examples are only the tip of the iceberg and belie the impact on families – especially children.

In July, the United Nations Population Fund said at least 32% of Namibian women have experienced physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner at some point.

Let that sink in: One in every three Namibian women has been abused by a partner who is supposed to love them.

Intimate partner violence remains entrenched in our society.

There is no justification for taking another person’s life, whether over infidelity, a relationship gone sour, or finding out you are not the father of your partner’s child.

We need to do away with the patriarchal belief that men have rights over women.

They need to get to grips with mental health or other issues that turn them into murderers when they are confronted by a relationship on the rocks.

The effects of this social evil are far-reaching and heartbreaking.

It not only affects the victims, but can scar their children for life, and in some cases leave them orphaned.

The fact that GBV continues unabated indicates that not enough is being done to raise awareness about this scourge.

The recent cases should remind us to continue teaching boys how to handle stressful situations in a healthy way, including understanding the sanctity of life.

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