Report sexual offences: NPAZ

Source: Report sexual offences: NPAZ –Newsday Zimbabwe

THE National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe (NPAZ) has urged the public to report sexual offences to the police in a bid to combat the rise of the scourge and bring perpetrators to justice.

In a statement, the NPAZ said it is troubled by the rise in rape cases at the magistrates courts, particularly among related individuals, adding that there is need for increased awareness, prevention efforts and support services to prevent familial abuse and violence.

“The (NPAZ) notes with concern that most of the rape matters that are prosecuted in the magistrates court across the country involve parties that are related or known to each other,” read the statement.

“This is particularly painful in the case of juveniles and mentally challenged people who are raped by family members such as their fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, brothers and uncles as these are the people that they trust and look up to for protection.”

According to a recent Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency crime situation report, Zimbabwe recorded a total of 182 427 offenders of sexual based violence last year.

“It is also regrettable that some families do not report rape matters involving juveniles and family members to the Zimbabwe Republic Police but choose to resolve these at family level or through the local leadership or community court. The NPAZ would like to urge the public to report all sexual offences to the Zimbabwe Republic Police particularly those involving juveniles and mentally challenged persons or any other vulnerable groups of people living with disability,” NPAZ said.

It said guardians and parents should be cautious in selecting caregivers for their children and must protect vulnerable individuals from sexual predators.

“Guardians and parents are reminded to be mindful of the people that they entrust with their children’s care and also to be vigilant when it comes to protecting children, the mentally challenged and any other vulnerable persons from sexual predators.”