Zim records increase in psychological violence
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
THE United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has revealed that psychological abuse ranks high among cases of gender-based violence (GBV) recorded in the country since the beginning of the coronavirus (Covid-19) national lockdown.
4 302 GBV calls from the beginning of the lockdown on March 30, until July 15, 1 312 in April, 915 in May 2020, 776 in June, 753 in July, and 570 from August 1 to 26, with an overall average increase of over 60 percent compared to the pre-lockdown trends.
“The need for continuous sensitisation of security personnel deployed at roadblocks on freedom of movement of GBV staff and survivors remains critical. Reduced public transport availability remains a challenge in urban, peri-urban and rural areas for survivors of GBV to access timely multi-sectoral services.
“The legal sector is constrained in some districts. For example, in the Kotwa and Mudzi districts there is no resident magistrate and legal services are only available once a month.“The closest alternative centre for rape cases legal assistance is the regional court in Murehwa, which is 130km from the growth point and further away for rural residents.“These challenges generate delays in cases management and discourage some survivors to report, as well as witnesses to support survivors of rape,” OCHA said.