USED TO IT: For most Namibians, gender-based violence is common in the home and neighbourhood

A majority of Namibians believe that violence against women and girls is common in their homes and communities, the most recent Afrobarometer survey shows.

While more than half believe that men are never justified in physically disciplining their wives, about four in 10 say this can be justified at least some of the time.

Key findings

  • Nearly six in 10 Namibians (57%) report that in their area, it is either “very common” (29%) or “somewhat common” (28%) for men to use violence against women and girls in the home or in the community. Only 16% say it is “not at all common”.
  • A majority (58%) of Namibians say it is never justified for a man to use physical discipline on his wife. About one quarter (26%) believe that it is sometimes justified, and 13% say that it is always justified (Figure 2).
  • An overwhelming majority (82%) of citizens say that it is either “very likely” (59%) or “somewhat likely” (23%) that the police will take reported cases of gender-based violence seriously. Fewer than one in five believe that it is unlikely (Figure 3).
  • But more than four in 10 respondents (42%) think it is likely that a woman will be criticized, harassed, or shamed by others in the community if she reports an incident of gender-based violence (Figure 4).
  • Overall, nearly three in four Namibians (73%) say that domestic violence is a criminal matter that requires the involvement of law enforcement agencies to resolve. One quarter (25%) see it as a private matter that needs to be handled within the family .