Defeating SGBV through student leaders

16 February 2021 | Education

Rivaldo Kavanga

The office of the First Lady, through the #BreakFree From Violence movement, conducted a two-day training workshop on SGBV for 40 student leaders at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) last week.

The two-day intervention served as a call for an improved response and prevention, as well as to upskill student leaders on matters related to SGBV.

The workshop was hosted as a result of realising that SGBV affects everyone in the community, including students.

The training aimed to raise awareness on SGBV among the student leaders, equip them with information on rape and sexual assault and furnish the young leaders with the skills and knowledge to deal with cases of SGBV they may encounter on their campuses.

Raquel Jonathan, the SRC secretary for internal affairs of the University of Namibia’s main campus, told My Zone that she expected to gain more skills from the workshop, especially since she is the secretary for internal affairs and deals with all the issues the students have.

Gaining the added knowledge and skills on SGBV from the workshop she would know how to better help students with SGBV cases, Raquel said.

The president of the Windhoek Vocational Centre, Nana Tangeni, said,” I would love to see change, a lot of change and a reduction of violence in society, especially at schools and universities.”

Rape is an under-reported crime in Namibia, with a conviction rate of only 16% of reported cases. In 2020 alone, Namibia's magistrate's courts dealt with 2 370 domestic violence cases.

Chief Justice Peter Shivute said the cases resulted in the issuing of 1 835 interim protection and 765 final protection orders.

Justice Shivute provided these statistics at the virtual opening of the legal year last Wednesday.

He expressed concern about the alarmingly high number of 404 rape cases withdrawn by the complainants.

SGBV is a huge issue in the Namibian community and resulted in a number of protests last year.

The workshop disseminated information regarding rape, sexual assault, the monster theory regarding rapists, the type of sex offenders and the identification of sex offenders. The topics aimed at educating the student leaders on how the law defines rape and sexual assault and steps to follow after rape. The workshop was facilitated by Dr Veronica Theron and her team.