Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dad "nabbed" for battering 5-year-old daughter; had taken her "from custody of her biological mother" (Francistown, Botswana)

I don't know enough about Botswana or the Botswana legal system to completely understand what took place here. Did UNNAMED DAD "legally" take custody of this child from her formerly custodial mother? Or did he simply take her? I suspect that in a developing country, a lot of "custody" is extralegal, since I imagine that most people cannot afford to deal with the courts or similar government authorities. Needless to say, the outcome is similar to what we see in the western or developed countries: An abusive father who just had to have control (custody of the child) and a child that ended up battered and severely injured as a result.

Abusive father nabbed

FRANCISTOWN: A 27-year-old man of Block Four location in Francistown has been arrested and charged for alleged physical abuse of his daughter.

Kutlwano Police Station commander, Superintendent Rodney Nkokwe said the man was arrested on Saturday after reportedly battering and inflicting severe injuries on his five-year-old daughter. It is alleged that the abuse has been taking place for a long time until recently when the man was arrested.

Nkokwe said the man had taken the daughter from the custody of her biological mother and had been living with her at Block Four where he allegedly abused her with the connivance of the girl's stepmother.

Concerned neighbours, who had witnessed the abuse on several occasions, allegedly reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of the man. He faces a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, an offence punishable by a jail term of not more than five years with or without corporal punishment.

In the meantime, the matter has been referred to social workers for evaluation.

Nkokwe appealed to parents to stop abusing their children saying that it has a negative impact on the growth of a child. "Children who are abused grow up with trauma and this may negatively affect their lives," he said.

He also indicated that there are many cases of abuse that go unreported, appealing to the public to always report such matters to the police when they witness them. He said: "People should report cases of abuse so that we take action for the protection of the children."