9 July 2012

Tanzania: Survey - Rape Victims Destroy Evidence

A SURVEY has indicated that rape continues to be a threat in the country as many rape victims destroy evidence and do not get immediate treatment that can save them from contracting HIV/AIDS.

The survey conducted in 15 districts of the Mainland, revealed that many rape cases were not reported to police and for those taken to court, the perpetrators were set free due to lack of evidence.The survey conducted by journalists established that some victims destroyed evidence through changing clothes and taking bath immediately after being raped.

According to the survey, some rape victims due to ignorance and stigmatization do not report to the police to obtain PF3. They also don't go to hospital to get PEP drug within the recommended 72 hours after being raped to prevent HIV infection in case the victim was free from the virus before the rape incident.

The survey established that most of the district hospitals in the areas involved in the study were equipped with PEP but citizens were not aware and as a result the survivors of the worst form of Gender Based Violence (GBV) continue to suffer in silence.

The study carried out by TAMWA in collaboration with media houses further revealed that men rape young girls especially students and no legal action is taken against them. The situation is made worse for the rape survivors as they face stigmatization instead of being helped to report the matter to police immediately and get hospital for treatment.

District medical officers interviewed during the survey carried out in April this year, said that many rape victims sought medical attention when it was too late.The medical officers urged the police across the country to be sensitive with rape cases and take immediate action to ensure that rape victims obtain PF3 without delay so that they are able to access treatment in time.

The districts involved in the Tanzania Mainland survey were Mvomero (Morogoro), Newala (Mtwara), Kahama (Shinyanga), Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke (Dar es Salaam), Same (Kilimanjaro), Mkuranga (Pwani), Tarime (Mara), Simanjiro (Manyara) , Handeni (Tanga), Kasulu (Kigoma), Njombe (Njombe), Kilolo (Iringa), Rungwe (Mbeya), Iramba (Singida), Kondoa (Dodoma) and Karatu (Arusha)

The media houses which conducted the survey included Tanzania Daima, Mwananchi, Jamhuri, The Guardian, ITV, The Citizen, the 'Daily News,' Nipashe, Majira, 'Habari Leo,' The African, Mtanzania, Uhuru, Dira ya Mtanzania and the Habari com social media.

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