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Population size: 

2,494,530 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Women who have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime:267%

Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months: 202% [2]

The Namibia Demographic Health Survey (2013) indicates that 33 per cent of ever married women aged 15-49 years have experienced physical, sexual, and/ or emotional violence from their partner. Thirty two per cent (32%) of adolescent girls aged 15-19 and 35% of young girls aged 20-24 have experience physical violence from a partner. During 2012-2016, the Namibian Police identified five (5) top prevalent violence reported in the country as assault grievous bodily harm (22,174 reported cases); assault common (18,054); rape (2,839); attempted murder (1,138) and murder (734).This is exacerbated by condoning society’s attitude towards SGBV. Twenty-eight per cent (28%) of women and 22 per cent (22%) of men aged 15-49 justified beating as an acceptable way for a husband to discipline his wife (NDHS: 2013).[3]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research.

Current law and policy

Passed legislation ‘Combating of Domestic Violence Act 4’ in 2003. Women and child protection units have been established in partnership with the police, ministries of health, social services and NGOs.

Namibia has begun to legislate against martial rape (p.4). Women and child protection units have been established in partnership with the Namibian police, ministries of health and social services and NGOs. The role of social workers at the unit is to ensure the protection and safety of the abused women and children during and after the crisis; and assist in preparation of court reports, appearance in court, medical examinations needed for evidentiary purposes (p.18).

The Combating of Domestic Violence Act 4 of 2003 (p.10) provides a broad definition of domestic violence and establishes a simple, free procedure for obtaining a protection order from a magistrates court which directs the abuser to stop the violence. Can also prohibit the abuser from having any contact with the victim or order the abuser to temporarily leave a common residence. Forthcoming legislation: Criminal Procedure Amendment Act 24 of 2003 – will be applied to help reduce the trauma of court testimony for vulnerable witnesses. [5]

Recommendations include refining and strengthening the current legislation and assisting in better understanding and clarifying the law surrounding domestic violence. Better educate those who are responsible for dealing with complaints of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.[6] Combating of Domestic Violence Act 2003 provides for protection orders that may allow for no-contact provisions, removal of the perpetuator from the joint residence, directing the perpetuator to pay rent on behalf of the complainant and granting temporary custody of a child. Has either a specialised court or procedure for dealing with domestic violence.

Frontline Services:



[1] The World Bank, (1).

[2] UN Women, “Global Database on Violence Against Women – Namibia”, (

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