Zanzibar — POLICE in Urban-West region have recorded a drastic increase in acts of gende-based violence in the past two years.
This was revealed yesterday by the police officer in charge of the gender and children desk at the regional police office, Mr Zahor Faki. "Since the establishment of the help desks at police stations, there have been an increase of reported cases from an average of one to more than 10 per week," said Mr Faki, noting that police have become more sensitive towards children issues.
He attributed the rise to increased awareness in the community and that many victims' relatives understand the need to report the cases instead of trying to solve them at family level. "We recorded 850 cases of abuse between January 2011 and June, this year.
This is an improvement, but it is a challenge," the police officer said. He said the cases include rape, sodomy and other abuses against children and women and that most of the perpetrators have been arrested and charged, although the hearing of the cases has proved difficulty because some witnesses hesitate to go public in providing evidence.
Other challenges include relatives and the public in general demanding that the cases be expedited as well as various shortfalls in child protection laws, he said.