|LAC speaks out against violence|
|Written by Rinelda Mouton|
|Wednesday, 13 June 2012 22:28|
The Legal assistance Centre is concerned about the recent increase in cases of domestic violence in Namibia.
“As Namibia marks the tragic death of another young woman last week, the Legal Assistant Centre is concerned with the current increase of domestic violence. Changes must be made. We call on the Namibian public to work together to stop the violence,” Rachel Coomer, Public Outreach Manager, Gender Research and Advocacy Project said. She adds that the high number of incidents of domestic violence has resulted in a high number of protection orders. Court files of 1 122 protection order applications were opened during the period 2004 - 2006. Coomer says that victims should take death-threats seriously. Statistics based on the information that is gathered from applicants of protection orders indicate that one out of every two victims of domestic violence received a death-threat before the attack. It also shows that protection orders in Karas, Erongo, Khomas and Hardap Region were the highest. Records further indicate that one in ten people who apply for a protection order is over the age of fifty. The study shows that elderly people who applied for protection orders requested provisions such as no communication, custody of grand-children, limitation of access by the abuser to grand-children and temporary maintenance. Coomer further reveals that if a person is unable to apply for an order themselves they can ask someone else to do it for them. The Combating of Domestic Violence Act states that if you are over the age of 21, but for some reason are unable to make an application for a protection order in person, someone else can do it on your behalf, provided that this person has your written consent. “This might be useful for an elderly person who may find it difficult to travel to the court to make the application. The person who helps could be anyone who has an interest in the well-being of the person being abused, such as a friend, family member, etc,” she explained. So, what can be done to help stop violence? Coomer is convinced that violence must be addressed at a young age. “We should start spreading a message of mutual respect and inculcating in our children a conviction that using violence against others is wrong,” she believes.