Women in Harare have urged women and girls’ rights organizations to continue the fight against gender based violence in local communities as the scourge continues to rise .
GBV cases shot up during the COVID-19 induced lockdowns as most victims of violence were trapped together with their perpetrators.
In Kuwadzana 2 domestic violence was becoming a pandemic itself during lockdown many women could not break the silence due to societal norms, however some got assistance from different women organisations.
In an interview with 263Chat, Founding Director of Shamwari Yemwanasikana (SYS) Ekenia Chifamba said, one in every three women in Zimbabwe between the ages of 15 and 49 are abused in their lifetime, and cases are quickly rising especially in these difficult times.
“As (SYS), since the lockdown began, we have addressed many cases of GBV, this is largely due to the home setups, for most women and young girls, they are spending most of their times confined in spaces with people close to them, and perpetrators are usually those close to the victims, also most women who were previously abused by their husbands have to spend time with their abusive spouses in the same houses.”
She added that, prolonged periods of abuse will often cause the victim’s mental breakdown, so it is important to take action and react quickly.
Responding to the issue, Lorraine Chivheya(32) a resident of Kuwadzana 2 said, most women in their community are not aware of organisations that fight for their rights.
“We need more awareness campaigns and support from those women groups and organisation so that people facing GBV will report and get help, we are thankful for other organisations that spreads the awareness campaigns and also government on taking a serious step in addressing these issues”,she said.