Gender-based violence has been a prevalent problem in many countries globally for several years. Women and girls form the majority of victims of gender-based violence. According to the United Nation’s Population Fund, 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexualized violence in their lifetime. It was also reported that violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. Nevertheless, gender-based violence is largely under-reported owing to some reasons such as fear, stigmatization, inadequate support systems for victims, etc.
Often, rape and defilement are dominant reported offenses, both locally and internationally.
We have received some data sets from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), in the La Nkwatanag Madina Municipal Assembly (LaNMA). We visualized rape and defilement cases reported to the unit over a period of four years (2015-2018). This blog post seeks to give readers an overview of the trend of rape and defilement cases over the years in LaNMA. Do find the visualization below:
From the visualization above, the different (cherry, red, orange and yellow) colors, represent the victims of rape and defilement and the years in which the offense was reported to the police.
Also, from the trend of reported cases of defilement and rape, it shows that in the whole four-year period of cases reported to the DOVVSU office in LaNMMA, defilement cases were more highly recorded than rape. In our interaction with some staff members of DOVVSU Madina, they indicated that sexual violence cases were underreported in their area of operation. They added that people refuse to report these cases because some family members prefer out-of-court settlement to pressing charges against perpetrators.
We would like to call upon the police, CSOs/NGOs, gender-activists, journalists, and everyone must help in the fight against gender-based violence in our society. And also encourage victims to speak up and report perpetrators to the police.