Six child-focused organizations under the umbrella name of Joining Forces Zimbabwe has condemned the continued sexual abuse of young girls in society appealing to government and other stakeholders to invest in awareness in order to break the cycle.
In a press statement on Tuesday, the six organizations namely World Vision, Plan International, Save The Children International and three others said the recent shocking media reports of pre-teen girls from Tsholotsho and Bindura getting pregnant due to sexual abuse shows that violation of girls rights continues unabated.
“It is clear that young girls continue to experience sexual abuse within their homes and communities, which are meant to be safe spaces, therefore, more still needs to be done to strengthen prevention of sexual abuse and also empower young girls so that they recognize abuse and have more safe spaces as well as more effective mechanisms for child friendly reporting,” the organizations said.
Joining Forces Zimbabwe hailed the media for playing an important role in reporting such cases for justice to be served.
The grouping urged relevant actors including government departments at all levels, Non-Governmental Organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and community-level structures, such as churches and traditional leaders to invest more in awareness messages in order to break the cycle.
They further encouraged communities to report sexual abuse cases as part of measures to prevent that vice that continues to rob women and young girls of their future.
“There are other pieces of legislation that seek to provide care and protection to children such as the Children’s Act (Chapter 5:06); Marriages Act (Chapter 5:15);. Guardianship of Minors Act (Chapter 5:08); Domestic Violence Act (Chapter 5:16) and the National Gender Policy, however we will continue to strengthen the confidence of communities in the protection system and encourage more reporting of such criminal acts while we advocate for more focus to be placed on preventing sexual abuse,” said the Joining Forces.