Trigger Warning: Femicide, violence against women and children
Yesterday, it was reported that remains of a woman, believed to be Shannon Wasserfall, were found in a shallow grave in Walvis Bay’s dunes after an anonymous tip was sent to the police via text message. It was later reported that her father received the text message too.
Earlier this year, the Namibian Police Force reported that during the 18 months ended June 2020, one thousand six hundred and four rape cases were reported. Translated, these statistics paint the horrifying image that for 540 days between January 2019 and June 2020, three rape cases were reported to the Police every day.
In 2019 September, the Gender-based Violence Protection Unit in Windhoek reported that between September 2019 and December 2018, it received, on average, two hundred cases of domestic violence per month. Again, translated, these statistics paint the horrifying image that for 10 months, the Gender-based Violence Protection Unit in Windhoek received about sixty-six domestic violence cases every month.
These stories, including countless untold ones have left us angry, speechless and desperate for change.
There is, therefore, no denying: Namibia faces a sexual and gendered violence crisis.Bertha Tobias and Lebbeus Hashikutuva
This is where the protest comes in
From Thursday, 08 October 2020 at 10 AM as concerned, afraid and traumatized citizens, several protests will be held meant to disrupt processes in the country until the demands to several bodies and institutions are met.
What are those demands?
Well, they’re a lot, and rightfully so. Some of them include:
- A declaration of a State of Emergency in respect of Femicide and Sexual and Gendered Violence by The Presidency
- The Ministry of Justice to prioritise a sexual offenders registry and make it available to critical and interested bodies, particularly those working with women and children
- The Namibian Police Force to immediately institute 24/7 armed patrols around all neighborhoods
- The Ministry of Basic Education, Arts and Culture to immediately liaise with Civil Society Organisations and SGBV experts to provide training to ALL teachers in respect of SGBV
- The Namibian Institutes of Higher Learning to mandate the review of all lecturers and other staff under employment and release any staff member who (a) has had sexual relationships with students in which circumstances can be deemed exploitative or (b) has been charged with a sexual crime.
Here is some material you can download and share
All information was obtained from the petition written by Bertha Tobias and Lebbeus Hashikutuva.