Source: allAfrica

Dowa — Police in Dowa have expressed concern over the tendency of increasing withdrawals of Gender Based Violence cases by women and girls against their perpetrators at the Victim Support Units (VSUs).

Speaking in an interview with the Malawi News Agency Friday, Dowa Police Officer in Charge (O/C), Deputy Commissioner Owen Maganga said such withdrawals of cases are derailing the fight against Gender Based Violence in the district, hence a call for women and girls to make informed decisions before reporting such cases.

Maganga said even though the police and courts are aware that it is the wish and right of the complainant to withdraw cases, numbers of women and girls suffering from GBV are increasing and the development encourages the perpetrators to continue harassing them.

He was however happy that through community awareness campaigns, people particularly women and girls were coming in the open in their large numbers reporting GBV cases to relevant authorities.

The O/C said police officers do not feel good to see a man who severely bruised his wife or fiancé walking to freedom without being punished for the offence committed just because the wife has nowhere to get support for the family.

He said people have such rights to withdraw cases of GBV excluding murder cases but the challenge comes when the husband is released and continues with the malpractice.

Maganga reminded women who report GBV cases to always make up their mind that what has happened to them today should be a lesson to someone tomorrow by ensuring that the cases end up in a court of Law.

He thanked all stakeholders who are working tirelessly sensitizing the rural communities on GBV for complementing government's efforts of ensuring safety for women and girls in the communities.

The O/C, expressed hope that with community participation, all the perpetrators of GBV could be brought to book and make Dowa a safe district to live in.

Dowa is one of the districts in Malawi with high number of cases of Gender Based Violence.

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