Legal Assistance Centre




To find out what to do if you are raped click here.

The extensive report Rape in Namibia and the accompanying summary report which highlights the study’s key findings were both launched in May 2007.

The broad-based research project monitored the implementation of the Combating of Rape Act. GR&AP researchers observed selected court cases, examined police dockets and court records in all the regions in Namibia and interviewed criminal justice personnel and other key informants all over the country. The rape study is significant as the first assessment of the success or failure of legal measure on sexual violence against women and children. It also includes an assessment of the implementation of the new criminal procedure provisions intended to reduce the trauma of court appearance for vulnerable witnesses.

Click here to see how the recommendations in the research report have been influential in Namibia.

The launch was attended by about 40 people, with the first copy of the book being handed over to Adv Danie Small, Deputy Prosecutor-General, representing Prosecutor-General Martha Olivia Imalwa. The study received excellent press coverage, including newspaper and magazine articles, television news spots and radio reports.

Read an article from Sister Namibia from the study's launch.

The report was distributing to key stakeholders -- including the President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister -- and feedback from government has been very positive, particularly from the Office of the Prosecutor-General and the National Forensic Science Institute.  

Many requests for the publications have been received from Namibia and South Africa, and the report was cited by a US Senator in the confirmation hearings of the US Ambassador to Namibia. (Senator Biden mentioned that, according to the Namibian Legal Assistance Centre's recent report on rape in Namibia, over a third of rape victims were under age 18 and one fourth of the rapes were perpetrated by a loved one.)

Combating of Rape Act
GR&AP assisted in drafting the progressive rape legislation, the Combating of Rape Act which came into force in February 2000. GR&AP mobilised civil society to promote amendments to the bill initially proposed by the government, most of which were accepted by the Parliamentary Committee which studied the bill and incorporated them into the final version of the law.

Read articles from our archive (1997): A case against mandatory HIV testing of rapists; (1999): An overview of the Combating of Rape Bill; Making rape in marriage illegal; (2000) Rape redefined: A summary of the new Combating of Rape Bill; (2011) Is it really rape?; How should rape cases be dealt with in Namibia?

Immediately after the Combating of Rape Act came into force, GR&AP produced simple-language training materials: a detailed Guide to the Combating of Rape Act aimed at services providers and counselors, as well as a shorter Summary of the Combating of Rape Act (print copies only) for the general public. These documents are available in English, Afrikaans, Nama/Damara, Oshiwambo, Otjiherero, Rukwangali and Silozi.

Between 2008 and 2010 GR&AP produced a range of additional publications containing simple information about rape, aimed at rape survivors, their families and organisations which support rape survivors:

Read a 2010 article from Sister Namibia about our rape pamphlets.

GR&AP has also produced a feature-length film called Love and Respect, which examines rape and domestic violence in local settings. The film is available in five languages (English, Afrikaans, Nama/Damara, Oshiwambo and Otjiherero).

GR&AP has hosted workshops to train police, social workers, prosecutors, magistrates and medical professionals on the Act, as well as to promote guidelines for service provision in each of these professions. GR&AP published Guidelines for Service Providers on the Combating of Rape Act of Namibia, intended for professionals who deal with persons who have suffered rape. The Guidelines were developed by the professionals themselves and compiled by GR&AP. GR&AP has also prepared a training DVD on rape aimed at prosecutors and persons who seek to support rape survivors through their court experience. GR&AP also wrote a short memo on how courts have interpreted the substantial and compelling circumstances in rape cases.

GR&AP has helped to inform the public about medical issues for rape survivors, including post-exposure prophylaxis (medication that can significantly reduce the chances of HIV infection from the rape if taken promptly after the incident). GR&AP also assisted the government with the revision of the official form used to record information from the medical examination for rape survivors in consultation with forensic and medical experts.



Pamphlet: Withdrawing a Rape Case - Are you Making the Right Decision?

Available in English, Oshiwambo, Ojtiherero and Afrikaans

Other Related Publications (PDF)

Fact sheet: Basic Facts on the Combating of Rape Act

Available in English, Oshwambo, Otjiherero and Afrikaans.

Pocket Guide: The Combating of Rape Act

Available in English, Oshiwambo, Otjiherero and Afrikaans.

Read the Complete Act
Other Related Webpages