Botswana Police Service has adopted a policy that discourages withdrawal of Gender Based Violence (GBV) related cases after they have been reported.
Raising concern during the GBV Pitso ya Borre campaign official launch on Valentine’s Day held at Molepolole bus rank, Commissioner of Police Keabetswe Makgophe, said it seemed the police are now being used by some women who report cases only to withdraw them at a later stage.
He said suspects get incarcerated and later on they face challenges of some intending to sue them for that, also that they have reports of victims being murdered following withdrawal of cases which the public end up blaming them.
“The choice of venue for this launch was mostly influenced by the fact that in the recent past Kweneng District experienced a surge of GBV related cases, mostly murder, rape and assault. The frequency at which murder cases were reported was alarming and brought fear to the residents and shocked the entire country,” said Makgophe at the well attended event.
According to the national statistics on GBV crimes, there were 1208 recorded cases of defilement in 2019 compared to 769 in 2018; indicating a 57 percent increase which is 439.
In her keynote address, the First Lady Neo Jane Masisi, appealed to the chiefs, churches, health practitioners, civil society organisations and the public to help GBV committees and the police in fighting GBV.
She encouraged the police to continue
spreading the message across the country
Masisi also promised to continue with her mission in supporting GBV campaigns and also to seek assistance from outside the country.
Pitso ya Borre campaign kick-started on February 8th, 2020 with educational campaigns targeting churches, schools, cattle posts, various organisations and wider male population.
The BPS took advantage of the mood of the day and distributed the roses to the men to present to their loved ones.
Held under the theme ‘Ending Gender Based Violence Starts With Me # emisakgokgontsho,’ the attendees included Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng, Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Thomas Kagiso Mmusi and other officials.