Esigodini residents have called for more gender-based violence awareness programs as part of efforts to create environments that are free from violence. This was said during a workshop conducted by Esigodini Residents Association as part of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
The meeting which was attended by 30 residents aimed at empowering victims of violence with information they can use in dealing with their abusers. The social welfare department and the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Victim Friendly Unit department were identified as key places where victims of violence could seek assistance from.
Some pointed out the issue of increased child marriages, stating that many children were forced to get married due to the economic decline that affected citizens when most people were out of jobs because of the lockdown period.
Community members cited that there was an increase in the number of divorce cases during the lockdown period as these were alluded to gender-based violence (gbv) considering that some women were locked down with their abusers. Lack of income for most families among other issues contributed to the increase in divorce cases, residents said.
Child abuse is on the rise as children lack the will and power to report their parents whenever they inflict violence on them. In that light children find it harder to report instances of violence with the fear of ending up homeless.
Most women said their health was violated during the lockdown period as they had limited or no access to health facilities. Failure to access contraceptive pills and other tablets was a major issue for women who resorted to prevention methods that are not medically approved.
Residents highlighted that the nearest police station is located further from their homes and recommended the installation of a police base in Habane. Some contributed that there was a need for constant and periodic GBV awareness programs that address the violation of girls at schools.
Residents implored local authorities to fund counselling structures so as to provide proper and in-depth counselling services for victims of violence.
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