… 69 survivors were below 18 years

Yangyel Lhaden

Gender-based violence (GBV) is showing no sign of abating, going by the annual records of cases with Respect, Educate, Nurture, and Empower Women (RENEW).  The NGO recorded the highest number of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the past three years.

The number of GBV cases reached 788 last year, marking a 43.27 percent increase from the cases recorded in 2022. This year, GBV cases increased by 55.68 percent compared to the number recorded between 2021 and 2023. In 2021, the organisation recorded 507 cases.

Emotional violence topped the types of violence with 377 cases, followed by incidents that did not fall under the nature of GBV, numbering 216. Sexual abuse, with 24 cases, was the least reported last year. Additionally, there were 39 economic cases and 132 physical cases reported.

Out of the 788 cases, 69 individuals were below the age of 18, and 719 individuals were adults. Among them, 69 were male, and 719 were female. RENEW received the highest number of cases from Phuentsholing with 111 cases and the least from Gasa, numbering four.

Those who sought help from RENEW received counselling, livelihood training, legal and medical aid, shelter services, and psycho-social support, among other services.

RENEW Executive Director Tshering Dolkar attributes the increase in the number of GBV cases to people becoming more aware of their rights with enhanced services and services closer to their homes. “RENEW is for all genders as GBV does not discriminate among genders and we are also receiving increasing cases from men which mostly involve emotional violence.”

RENEW has community service centres in 10 dzongkhags that provide services of the organisation to the victims in their community. “The aim of establishing community service centres is with the motive that no one is left behind and to provide safe space to victims of GBV,” Tshering Dolkar said.

The community service centres advocate and create awareness in the communities in collaboration with the dzongkhags and local governments.

To report on violence or seek help for yourself or someone contact RENEW at 17126353.