Commonwealth Network against Child and Early Marriage (CONACEM) has asked the Malawi Government to establish special units in police stations to handle cases of domestic violence during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis.
CONACEM national coordinator Chimwemwe Kaonga told Nyasa Times that the network is concerned that government is not coming up with measures to address gender based violence as the country responds to the Covid-19 crisis.
“During times of isolation and home confinement, cases of child labour, girl-child exploitation and intimate partner violence are amongst the most prevalent forms of violence. CONACEM is therefore asking government to establish special units within the police to handle cases of domestic violence during this crisis,” said Kaonga.
He further proposed that government should establish and popularise toll free hotlines for reporting domestic violence during the crisis and increase investment in online services and accessibility.
Additionally, government is being urged to create safe ways for women and girls to report and seek support without alerting their abusers.
“Government should also consider providing stiffer punishments and avoid releasing prisoners convicted of violence against women in any form; enable domestic resourcing for organizations that respond to domestic violence and also scale up in public awareness campaigns targeting boys and men,” said Kaonga.
He appealed to Civil Society Organizations, Police, Judiciary, faith community and the general public to remain vigilant to prevent, protect and mitigate all forms of violence against women and girls.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :