Mat South districts record 300 GBV, 150 rape cases

Source: Mat South districts record 300 GBV, 150 rape cases | Newsday (News)

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

MATABELELAND South districts of Umzingwane, Matobo and Gwanda recorded nearly 300 gender-based violence (GBV) cases and 150 rape cases during the COVID-19 lockdown period, a survey by a Gwanda-based civic group has revealed.

The Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT) said in its needs assessment survey done recently, it was found out that GBV cases in the three districts were on the rise, hence the need for policymakers to come up with stringent laws to curb the vice.

Umzingwane and Matopo recorded 42 and 73 GBV cases respectively, while Gwanda had the highest incidents at 141 cases.

“However, respondents from both youths and key informant interviews (KIIs) indicated that it is difficult to have a true reflection of rape cases and GBV as these are often concealed by families and community leaders,” the report said.

“The statistics above are from December 2020 to February 2021 as indicated by the KII informants. The level of responsiveness by the police, community elders and elected leaders remains low in addressing rape and GBV cases at community level.”

The CYDT said it collected the data through small focus group meetings, as well as telephone and face-to-face interviews with identified key informants in all the three districts.

Recently, Women’s Affairs minister Sithembiso Nyoni told Parliament that government was finalising a law providing for mandatory jail sentences for rape.

Nyoni said government was concerned about sexual offences statistics, saying long mandatory jail terms might be the only effective deterrent.

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