Mrs Lucy Ngombe is an 18 year old lady who has three children (5, 3 and 1 [James, Gift, Peter]). Her husband has been violent towards her on a number of occasions – hitting her especially when he has been drinking. He has taken another wife about a year ago and since then things have deteriorated. She knows she is very much not wanted now.
She does not read or write. She did complete primary school but her attendance was sporadic as she missed one week every month and in addition she had to help look after her younger brothers and sisters at home. As soon as she left she was married.
A few days ago the violence got really bad and she fled for her life taking her children with her.
She knows that she can never go back to her village. She is frightened that the men from the village might find out where she has gone.
Lucy walks for two days with her children to the nearest police post. There she meets the one police officer on duty. This is Mr Mhango who has undergone one week’s training in handling situations like this.
What does the officer do now? One option is to lock her and her children in the cells for their own protection. There is a One Stop centre in Blantyre but that is 20 Miles away. Too far to walk and there is no transport.
What does the future hold for Lucy?
There is no budget for victim support.
What are the answers for Lucy?
What are the answers to the bigger questions around Violence Against Women and Children?