FRANCISTOWN: The city mayor here, Godisang Radisigo has expressed worry over escalating cases of gender-based violence (GBV) following over 559 cases recorded in a period of nine months.
Radisigo was addressing a press briefing over the surging number of GBV cases in the city this week, at Cresta Thapama Hotel.
Radisigo said that the city has since the beginning of the year experienced a significant number of cases reported to various service providers by victims seeking redress.
He also said the statistics from January 2020 to September 2020 shows that various service providers had registered high numbers of cases that needed attention.
Giving a breaking down of numbers, he said a total of 559 cases of rape, defilement, threats to kill, murder and physical abuse were registered at local police stations, Magistrate’s Courts and various non-governmental organisations serving the city.
“GBV is the most dreadful of human rights violations known to man. It is complex and often systemic in its occurrence. Some of our cultural norms and contemporary believes perpetuate this phenomenon and as a city we cannot stand on the sidelines and watch our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers be denied the right to life, health and well being as well as freedom of association,” he said.
He further said a multi-sectoral approach to alleviating GBV has never before been so vital to the fight against GBV. Therefore, he said that their strategy, as a city is to look specifically at prevention, protection, care and support for the survivors.
Radisigo has also indicated that the aftermath of COVID-19 has not spared them as a
He explained that the aftermath of COVID-19 led to a sustained restriction of movement led to
vulnerable victims to be confined home with abusive spouses, partners and family members with limited access to support services.
Radisigo further said there was need for all operations by service providers to now focus on social and behavioural change, male involvement on issues of GBV, psychosocial support, rehabilitation of perpetrators to avoid repeat offences to only mention a few.
He also personally pledged his support as patron of the city gender committee in all its endeavors to fight GBV cases in Francistown.
He also spoke about the upcoming internationally observed days such as the International Men’s Day on November 19 under the theme; “Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity”.
The mayor further said this year’s conversations would focus on promoting positive male role models and their contributions to the society, men’s health and wellbeing, discrimination against men as well as improvement of gender relations for a safer society.
He announced that there will be campaigns for the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence on Women and Children, which will be commemorated from November 25th until December under the theme: “Unite to end GBV now.”
He urged all to participate in the coming commemorations to acquire a wealth of information available so that they all can identify and respond to GBV as individuals, families and as a community.