- The number of cases that were reported in 2020 showed a significant jump when compared to those reported 2019
Mbabane: During the COVID-19 season, the impact of Gender Based Violence (GBV) has left the nation scathed with cases of abuse and violence in the domestic setting.
As such, the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) says 5 647 cases of GBV were reported between the period of January to December 2020, with 1 184 being perpetrated against children of the age 0 to 17.
These statistics were revealed by the Senior Deputy National Commissioner of Police Lydia Dlamini who was representing the National Commissioner of Police (NATCOM) William Tsitsibala Dlamini during the launch of the Children’s Protection Guide for Criminal Justice Practioners. The launch was held on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at the Hilton Garden Hotel and it was facilitated by the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
The Senior Deputy National Commissioner Dlamini said the number of cases that were reported in the aforementioned period showed a significant jump when compared to the 5 522 cases that were reported in 2019, where 1 121 children were victims. She said these statistics meant that not only should the police (detective practioners) work tirelessly to bring offenders to justice, but also the prosecution wheel should move at a faster pace to ensure that offenders receive the deterrent justice against them.
Dlamini said one practice that perpetrates child abuse, and continues unabated is that of sweeping matters under the carpet (Tibi Tendlu). She said Police appeal to all and sundry is to desist from such a practice as it is now a criminal offence any form of violence and abuse.
Dlamini went on say one challenge that needs to be addressed is on the delays of gathering and processing of forensic evidence. She said this delays are mainly caused by the fact that the local police rely on their South African counterparts and that have a negative repercussions on Court judgements.
Dlamini appealed to the government to expedite the localisation of the fully fledged Forensic Science facility especially the genetics (DNA) aspect which is critical for most cases of violence such as murder and sexual assaults.
The Police service pledged and committed itself to prioritise matters relating to children’s welfare and safety, and called upon all stakeholders to partner and collaborate as children are the embodiment of the country’s future.