Withdrawal of GBV cases worries police

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Police in Dowa have expressed concern over women’s tendency to withdraw Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases against their loved ones at the Victim Support Units (VSU).

The concern was expressed by Dowa police station Officer in-Charge, Deputy Commissioner Owen Maganga in an interview with Malawi24.

Maganga said such withdrawal of cases is derailing the fight against Gender Based Violence in the district.

He then called on women and girls to make informed decisions before reporting such cases.

Maganga told Malawi24 that even though the police and courts are aware that it is the wish and right of the complainant to withdraw cases, women and girls affected by GBV are increasingly ending up encouraging their loved ones to continue beating them harder than before.

He expressed happiness that through community awareness campaigns, people particularly women and girls are reporting GBV to the relevant authorities.

The Dowa police chief said police officers do not feel good to see a man who severely bruised his partner walk to freedom without being punished for the offence committed just because the partner has nowhere to get support for the family.

“People have such rights to withdraw cases of GBV excluding murder cases but the challenge comes after the husband is released who again turn violent against the woman on issues that could be solved amicably,” he told Malawi24.

Maganga reminded women who report cases of brutality acts against their husbands to always make up their minds to ensure that the cases end up in a court of law for a fair judgement.

He thanked NGO partners who are working tirelessly sensitising the rural communities on GBV that they are complementing government’s effort of seeing that women and girls are living in a safe environment.

The officer expressed hope that with community participation, Community Policing Forums, traditional and faith leaders, all the perpetrators of GBV can be brought to book to make Dowa a safe district to live in.

Dowa is one of the districts in Malawi which registers a high number of Gender Based Violence cases.

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