Francistown Mayor, Godisang Radisigo has called for a close-knit service provider community that supports each other and shares resources in the on-going fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
During a press briefing to raise his concerns over the rising number of GBV cases in Ghetto this week, Radisigo stressed they can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines and watch as citizens are denied the right to life by those they are supposed to trust and live with.
The Mayor described GBV as the most dreadful of human rights violations known to man.
“Some of our cultural norms and contemporary beliefs perpetuate this phenomenon,” warned Radisigo, adding GBV is complex and often systematic in its occurrence.
The second city’s first citizen noted statistics gathered from 24 January to the end of September show Francistown has experienced a significant number of reported GBV cases.
He revealed the city’s service providers registered a total of 127 rape cases, 155 defilement cases, 37 incidents of threat to kill, 24 cases of murder and 216 cases of physical abuse.
Radisigo believes the numbers are a result of undesirable social behaviour that must be targeted for practical solutions.
The Mayor added the situation was exacerbated by movement restrictions caused by Covid-19 regulations.
“This means vulnerable victims are confined to their homes with abusive partners, spouses and family members with limited access to support services.”
According to Radisigo, for effective management of GBV cases there must be sufficient resourcing, implementation of strategies targeting gender norms and standards, adequate reporting by the media and suitable child-friendly settings in the justice and law enforcement systems.
“We must keep an eye on the lack of an effective and integrated response system that brings together key players like the police, the justice system, health departments, counselling as well as other service providers.
“It also calls for the resuscitation of the city’s Gender Committee that will manage all responses and report regularly to our Main District Development Committee,” Radisigo said, further pledging to support the Gender Committee as its Patron in its endeavors to fight GBV in Francistown.