Many female prisoners have suffered from gender-based violence, especially those that are economically dependent on their spouses.
About 60 to 80 percent of women who report their abusive spouses to either police or advocacy groups, withdraw the cases and most of them do so even after sustaining serious injuries.
But they cannot take the law into their own hands and are expected to report the violent partner to the police and to co-operate as a witness in a trial.
In an interview, Kwekwe female inmates said they are serving sentences after committing serious offences of violence on abusive male partners in revenge for previous assaults.
They were advocating to engage in projects that would empower them economically so that they live free lives.
Tambudzai Sundirai of Kwekwe was sentenced to seven months after she poured boiling water on her allegedly abusive husband who was said to be enjoying his money with girlfriends.
“I was economically depending on my husband, but he went to find other lovers and failed to support me and the children,” she said.
“I poured boiling water on him out of anger and it was also a way of revenge. l never thought that l will end up in jail.”
Abigail Bhebhe of Mhazhi in Zhombe was convicted for beating up and seriously injuring another woman who was allegedly cheating with her husband.
“Cases of gender-based violence are on the rise because of men, how can he cheat on me like that,” she said.
“I am a human being, so l reacted and assaulted the lady because she was cheating with my husband.”
Some women are failing to get their abusive spouses arrested or taken to prison because they fear losing the economic benefits that are attached to the partners.
Those in abusive relationships found it easy to live in pain than to see their abusive spouses arrested or taken to prison.
Research also indicates that gender-based violence perpetrated by men on women was responsible for psychiatric problems experienced by women.
Gender-based violence is a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality and abuse of power and continues to be one of the most notable human rights violations within all societies.
It includes sexual violence, domestic violence, trafficking, forced or early marriage, forced prostitution and sexual exploitation and abuse.
While both women and men experience gender-based violence, the majority of victims are women and girls.
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