AT least 22 women are raped in the country every day and there has been 74 percent increase in reported cases between 2010 and 2018.
The statistics, compiled from police records show that one woman is abused every 75 minutes and an average of 646 women are being sexually abused monthly.
The president of the Senate Mabel Chinomona in a dialogue session in commemorating 16 days of activism against gender based violence in Harare, said Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases spiked sharply during the Covid-19-induced lockdowns.
The 16 days of activism are commemorated annually from 25 November to 10 December.
The Government has enacted various legislation to protect victims but stakeholders have called for stiffer sentences for offenders.
The president of the Senate said a national Hotline, run by Musasa, recorded more than 6 800 GBV-related calls for the period 30 March 2020 until the end of December 2020.
“Given that 94 percent of the calls were from women, it goes without saying, that women and the girl child bear the disproportionate impact of domestic violence,” she said.
Sen Monomona said GBV was a worldwide problem as the United Nations estimates that one in three women experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. “Within the SADC region, GBV is high and it varies across Member States. Physical violence ranges from 6 percent to 34.4 percent; sexual violence from 4 percent to 25.5 percent, while emotional violence ranges from 15.9 percent to 36.5 percent,” she said.
The Senator said the fight against GBV should be waged every day of the year instead of intensifying it only during the 16 days.
More to follow…