By Liapeng Raliengoane
BEREA – Last week saw the process of translation of the Counter Domestic Violence Act 2022 from English to Sesotho take place in Berea through the support of World Vision Lesotho.
The objective of the Counter Domestic Violence Act 2022 is to provide for protection, prevention and rights of survivors of domestic violence and related matters. Domestic violence legislation improves women’s threat point, thereby lowering domestic violence.
An interview with the Citizens Voice Addressing Violence Against Children (CVAVAC) Project Coordinator Sello Mahloane, revealed that through the support of World Vision Lesotho, CVAVAC is implementing and supporting this translation through its team.
Mahloane also indicated that this process is fully owned by the department of Gender through its technical personnel and legal sector to ensure the translation is of good quality. That Counter Domestic Violence Act 2022 aims to abolish some of the existing abusive practices which degrade children and women such as forced child marriage.
Department of Gender Director ‘Matau Futho Letsatsi said the translation of this Act (enacted into law on 12 December 2022) from English to Sesotho, is for the purpose of every Mosotho to understand it and its contents so that they are well informed, “this is done so that Basotho can avoid breaking the law, for those who do not know English, to afford them the opportunity to read this Act in their own Sesotho language.”
She said among others, the Counter Domestic Violence Act 2022 aims to provide for protection, prevention and rights of survivors of domestic violence and related matters.
On 12 December 2022 the Counter Domestic Violence Bill was enacted into law.
The National Assembly approved the Counter Domestic Violence Bill, 2021 in March 2022. The bill had been pending since it was tabled in April 2021 by the then Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation Hon. Likeleli Tampane.
The law promotes cross-agency collaboration and coordination of all different stakeholders working in the area of Gender Based Violence, and this includes Police, the judiciary, the correctional services and civil society organizations.
The different sections of the Law provide for the following: Section 6: Definition of domestic violence which helps provide protection to a wider category of victims of domestic violence and acts that constitute domestic violence. Section 7: Prohibition of domestic Violence-Criminalizing the commission there of:
Section 8: Reporting of domestic violence to the Police and the duty to Report: Section 9: Restorative justice and the establishment of Council to preside over proceedings. Section 13: Establishment of a family court and procedures to bring cases before the court. Section 23: Protection orders and how they are obtained.
Section 29: Role of Police officers in domestic violence cases and effecting of Protection orders. Section 32: Free medical health assistance to victims of domestic violence. Section 34: Rights of the complainant and duties of prosecutors. Section 36: Duties of Victims of Crime and Support officers. Section 38: Establishment of shelters for victims of domestic violence. Section 39 subject to 26: Offences and penalties.