Abuse shock: 159 cases reported every month
MBABANE - Since January 2011 to October 2012, 3 519 cases of gender-based violence on women were reported to the Royal Swaziland Police (RSP).
This revelation was made by RSP Commissioner Isaac Magagula during a campaign against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) held at Siphofaneni on Wednesday and attended by Deputy Premier Themba Masuku.
Magagula emphasised the urgent need to intensively educate members of the public about the negative effects of GBV on society and general peacekeeping in the country.
"Statistics from January 2011 to October 2012 reflect that out of 3 519 cases reported countrywide, there were 2 998, translating to 85 per cent of women victims. It suffices to state that this figure comprises only cases reported to the police and not those swept under the carpet as ‘tibi tendlu,’" Magagula disclosed.
The commissioner said the fact that 521 cases of GBV on male victims attested to the fact that GBV disproportionately affects women.
"As we are in Siphofaneni, this area has the most recorded cases of gender-based violence in comparison to other areas around the country with 478 cases reported since January 2011. This accounts for 14 per cent of the total number of reported cases, which effectively means Siphofaneni is the highest affected area in the country. This is the factor that has motivated the staging of the campaign here at Siphofaneni," highlighted Magagula.
Magagula also noted that GBV had an adverse economic impact. He said women, for instance, played an important role in community economic development initiatives and income generating projects. Therefore, when they were subjected to physical and emotional trauma, this would wither their drive to contribute to economic stability and growth due to loss of productivity.
The commissioner said GBV also led to long-term psychological problems on the part of victims which may manifest in alcohol and drug abuse that could in turn trigger a cycle of other social evils such as crime.
"It is evident, therefore, that Gender-Based Violence should be a concern for all members of society. We must all stand up and say no to the scourge. By the same token, we look up to courts to impose stiff sentences to those arrested for perpetuating any form of violence as a deterrence measure.
As an organisation we have, in numerous forums, decried the fact that cases of this nature are reported with alarming frequency and regularity," he said.
170 children between one and 11 years raped
MBABANE - Out of 928 rape cases reported between January 2011 to October 2012, 170 children between ages one to 11 were raped.
This was disclosed by Royal Swaziland Police Commissioner Isaac Magagula during the commemoration of 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) on Wednesday.
He said the increase of rape cases, especially among children was a cause for concern that needed collaborated effort from all sectors of society.
"Rape cases which are prevalent in the country are also a form of gender based violence perpetrated by men, who view women as objects for their sexual pleasure.
The prevalence of rape is demonstrated by the fact that from the year 2011 to October 2012, 928 cases were reported. Disturbingly, children as young as one to eleven years constitute 18 per cent, representing 170 of the victims, which is a sad indictment on the moral fabric of our society," Magagula said.
The commissioner also noted that rape had negative psychological consequences on the victims, hence the need to take urgent action against the criminal act soon.