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Kwekwe records 120 GBV cases against girls

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Kwekwe records 120 GBV cases against girls

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PRISCA MANYIWA-MASUKU
MIRROR REPORTER

KWEKWE – The Zimbabwe Association of Church Related Hospitals (ZACH) has said that it recorded 120 cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) against young women and girls under the age of 19 from January – May 2024.
ZACH Kwekwe Coordinator Chamunorwa Marange told The Mirror in an interview that most GBV and sexual violations against the girl child are however, concealed by their parents
He said there is need for parents’ buy in in order to protect the girl child against sexual abuse and child marriages.
“We commend Government for the new law but our main challenge is that parents are concealing cases of sexual abuse by allowing young girls to get married. In most cases the perpetrator may be arrested and taken to court but the parents now conceal the young girl instead of letting her testify in court until the matter is removed from remand and the perpetrator is freed.
“Most section 70 cases are concealed by parents who marry off their children to the perpetrators for monetary benefit so for this law to be effective we need the parents’ by in. We have also realized that some people are using the information they are getting through these awareness campaigns wrongly because they now know the legalities involved that if a complainant does not appear in court the accused person may end up being freed,” said Marange.
Marange added that most of the cases that they have handled are from girls aged below the age of consent.
He also said that budgetary constraints are making it difficult for them to follow up on court cases after giving legal advice, counseling and health services to survivors.
“Our main challenge is on budgetary constraints, we are not able to follow up on cases at the court like we used to do because we do not have funds so we just offer legal advice, counseling and health services and we end there,” said Marange.
He also revealed that their Support phase on the Start Awareness Support Action (SASA) phase has been done smoothly through dialogue and door to do awareness campaigns in Kwekwe in trying to end GBV within communities.

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