Psychiatric nurse links GBV to mental illness

Cathrine Moemedi

Issues of gender-based violence can be linked to mental illness.

This was said by psychiatric nurse at Letsholathebe Memorial Hospital, Jocelyn Wellio during the ongoing 16 days of Activism against gender-based violence, in Phuduhudu on Wednesday.

According to Wellio 50% of abuse reported is emotional while 35% is assault and 25% sexual. All these cases of abuse leave invisible scars on the victim as it affects their mental health.

“The victims of gender-based violence tend to suffer from mental health issues, the most common conditions in victims are depression, post traumatic syndrome disorder, self-mutilation, sleep apnea, anxiety, rejection and stigma,” revealed Wellio.

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Wellio further explained that they pick the element of gender-based violence when probing patients in a quest to establish the cause of the mental health problem as generally the victims do not report such incidents.

“Gender based violence is there in our homes but we have concealed it. Reports have shown that out of seven women who are victims of GBV, only one of them will report. This is mainly because these women depend on their abuser,” added Wellio.

Although it is common that people suffer gender-based violence at the hands of their sexual partners, Wellio has told residents that GBV do happen even outside romantic relationships.

For his part District No.5 Deputy Officer commanding, Superintendent Molefhe Molefhe revealed that it is difficult for them to tackle GBV as the victims are hard to be convinced that they are being abused and therefore most incidents are undocumented.

According to Molefhe as of 2019 to date they have recorded a total of 566 gender-based violence cases which encompasses murder, assault, defilement, threat to kill and assault.

“Most cases are not reported, we are going for festive season and we believe by the end of December the cases will have increased, we have experienced such pattern of increase when the state of emergency was lifted,” explained Molefhe.

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Molefhe has urged the community to report gender-based violence as harbouring perpetrators will only worsen the situation. He further encouraged them to utilise the gender and child protection branches across the country.


(Issue V1229 FRIDAY 24.12.2021)
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