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Lekgotla la Borre tackles gender based violence

15 Mar 2023

Members of community have been urged to take utilise the services offered by Lekgotla la Borre movement which aims to tackle gender based violence in all forms in the society.

Formed in 2019, the men-led movement strive to establish the root cause of gender based violence amongst the community, provide support to survivors and challenge harmful social norms in communities, seek justice as well as providing counselling for people in abusive relationships.

The movement collaborates with government departments and non-governmental organisations such as Gender Affairs, Botswana Police Service, Social Community Development (S&CD), Women Against Rape (WAR) and Botswana BOFWA.

In an interview the movement‘s public relation officer, Mr Kebonyetsala Samoka appealed to the community to come forth and take advantage of the services offered by movement.

The movement, he said, provided a platform for all to discuss issues of violence and also undertook  interventions aimed at promoting the culture of respect for both men, women and children.

“We organise workshops, dialogues where we openly discuss issues of concern and equip each other with knowledge and assertive skills to be able to negotiate and challenge harmful practices that fuel gender based violence,” he added.

Mr Samoka who is also a pastor noted that both men, women and children were prone to abusive relationships or homelessness, while children were abused either by parents or step parents.

The movement, he said was formed by a concerned group of men who were eager to end gender based violence and restore dignity of the affected in the society.

Initially, he said their main focus was on men as they were dying silently due to abuse, adding that  the movement later widened its scope to include women and children.

“We were concerned by the high rate of incidents suicides, passion killings, defilement, incest and rape and we realised that something has to be done to stop the evil acts,” he added.

Secretary of the movement, Ms Kabo Lethapa said formation of the movement had made huge difference, noting that they had assisted 38 women who were in an abusive relationships, referring some to S&CD and WAR for further assistance.

Some of the women, she said complained that their partners were not welcoming step daughters. “We reconciled the affected families and sent them to WAR for counselling sessions and today they are living happily,” she added.

The movement, she said, also managed to assist nine men who complained that their partners were denying them conjugal rights, eight girls who were defiled, which led to arrest of four of the perpetrators by the police.

Ms Lethapa also noted that they recorded 24 cases of child negligence and 39 of pupils absconding from school of which majority were girls staying with boyfriends and they managed to reconcile families with their children and helped in the arrest of 25 perpetrators who were denying pupils the opportunity to study.

She revealed that there was ample evidence that gender inequality and the resulting economic deprivation and dependency fueled gender based violence.

She appealed to the community to come on board and support the movement in its endeavor to tackle gender based violence and instill discipline among children.

“Ending violence in our communities is the responsibility of the whole community and it is pleasing that men are active participants,” she added. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Esther Mmolai

Location : MAUN

Event : Interview

Date : 15 Mar 2023