There were 5,000 cases of sexual violence against minors recorded in the period of just two years, marking the highest ever figures the country has ever registered.
The staggering statistics were revealed at a press briefing today by Deputy Director for Botswana Police Gender and Child Protection Branch, Assistant Commissioner Gontlafetse Segolodi who also highlighted that incidents of violence against children remain a concern. Segolodi revealed that in 2020, they recorded 1, 825 cases of defilement while 2, 033 were recorded in 2021 and 2, 059 in 2022. In an effort to help curb the scourge, government has increased penalties against sexual offences.
As of September 15, 2023, those convicted of defilement where they are convicted of sexually abusing children below the age of 18, the minimum charge is now 20 years or a maximum of life in prison. Equally, under the new penalties, if offenders are found to have had HIV and they were unaware, the minimum penalty is 25 years but if they were aware of their status the minimum charge is now 30 years in the slammer. Further making sure they deter any acts of violence against children, the government also stipulated that penalties of an attempt of rape should also be enhanced. The minimum charge is now 15 years or to a maximum of life.