26 November 2018

Zimbabwe: Musasa - Less Than 50 Percent of Zim Rape Cases Got Proper Attention

Photo: Shaun Swingler/GroundUp
Aneni, from Zimbabwe, was gang-raped in front of her little daughter (file photo).

Local pro-women support and anti-violence group, Musasa Project reports that less than 50 percent of rape cases which were brought to the attention of relevant authorities this year were satisfactorily dealt with as national statistics indicate that a woman was being raped every hour in Zimbabwe.

In a statement released to mark the start of 16 days of activism against gender based violence, Musasa Project said given the status quo, there were strong indications that authorities were not doing enough to reduce the prevalence of the serious crime.

"In 2018, Musasa alone received 384 cases of rape of which less than 50 percent were satisfactorily attended to," said the NGO.

"Other national statistics highlight that a woman is raped every hour of the day.

"These are worrying and deeply disturbing developments; more so, given the fact that the available statistics only reflect the reported cases against the possibility of more that go unreported."

The organisation observes that while stakeholders have become more responsive to the dire situation being faced by women and girls, some gaps still remained as far as service provision was concerned.

"Poor service provision ultimately translates to many survivors of such heinous crimes as rape failing to timeously access the services they need to mitigate their trauma and begin the healing process," the organisation said.

Factors such as the inadequacy of a supportive legal environment, continued existence of retrogressive social norms that seem to favour perpetrators have further promoted the culture of silence.

During the 16 days of activism against gender based violence, Musasa will launch its campaign in five cities namely Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru and Masvingo coupled with a parallel social media campaign under the hashtag #TouchNotMyBody.

This year, Zimbabwe will celebrate the 16 days of activism under the national theme, "Ending Sexual Harassment In The Workplace".

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