Johanna Wilkie

Johanna Wilkie (Breaking the Wall of Silence in Windhoek): Johanna lived and worked in Rome, Italy for two years teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). After her return to hometown of Boston, she taught immigrants and college students ESL for two years before moving to Los Angeles to work as a program manager at a California non-profit. At the time of her fellowship, Johanna was studying for a Masters degree in international affairs and development at Georgetown University, and working toward a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. She also interned at the International Rescue Committee as an Africa Advocacy Intern.

The Link: Guns and Domestic Violence

11 Jun

A news story in the most popular national newspaper here, The Namibian, really hit home for me this week.  A woman and her mother were both shot and killed by the woman’s boyfriend in a small town in the northeast of the country.  The article indicates that there had been a long history of domestic abuse in the relationship.  It’s the kind of sad story that is plastered all over the news in the US more often than any of us would like.  It also illustrates in the most horrifying way the link between guns and domestic violence that IANSA is working to raise awareness about this year with their Disarming Domestic Violence campaign, and the reason I’m here.

Recently, Pauline and I were talking about the campaign with a man we had just met.  He argued that the problem is not guns, but domestic violence itself, and he said that the most effective way to deal with the problem would be teaching people about effective conflict resolution.  I agree with him that it is not only guns that are the problem, and that the roots of the problem lie deeper than the weapon that is used in a domestic violence situation.  However, as IANSA has noted, guns make domestic violence more deadly.  A gun increases the risk of death by 12 times, compared with other means of violence.  In Namibia, the majority of victims of gun crimes (assault, murder, and muggings) between 2003 and 2006 were women.  It is clear to me that something needs to be done to keep women safe, and that removing guns from the hands of abusers and other criminals would be an effective first step.

Posted By Johanna Wilkie

Posted Jun 11th, 2009


  • Andrea Fox

    June 12, 2009


    However, guns do make domestic violence more deadly. A great counterargument backed up by facts–said in classic Johanna style. I hope Pauline realizes how lucky she is to have you as a fellow. I know that IANSA’s campaign will be more effective because of you!

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