Tanzania: Arusha Leads in Violence Against Children - Report

AS the world moves towards marking the African Child's Day on 16th Wednesday, some alarming figures have been released indicating that Arusha region still has high numbers of children being subjected to gender violence, and few being filed in a court of law.

Statistics show that last year a whopping 3,949 people, mostly women and children were subjected to harsh acts such as physical, verbal, psychological, sexual, domestic, child marriage and early pregnancies.

Making the revelation at an event to train journalists on how to fight the menace organized by the International Development and Advocacy (DSW) in Tengeru, Arusha recently, Arusha Regional Social Welfare Officer, Mr Denis Mgiye, said although it is believed that there were more violent acts than the said figures, the number is still above 2019's record of 3,054 incidences.

Mr Mgiye further said out of the reported cases, only 531 were filed in courts of law, terming it a mere 13 percent, adding that out of the number, only 52 percent of them had their judgments delivered, meaning that others were either dropped or still pending.

"Only 531 cases were filed in courts and that is only 13 percent, and out of the number only 274 had their judgments reached. Going by these figures, many cases have not filed with courts due to lack of evidence, which required some witnesses to show up and give accurate details.

"Such failure makes it impossible to have establishment of a legally required rebuttable presumption - prima facie case that is a cause of action, hence matters end up at police stations. However, the number of reported cases has increased as a result of increased awareness in the public, a work that has been done by NGO such as DSW and the government," said Mr Mgiye.

Speaking during the training, DSW Country Director, Mr Peter Owaga, noted that his organization has been coming up with different projects and strategies to reach out to the young people, especially girls.

It focuses on young persons' health and development through entrepreneurship, policy and budget advocacy as well as ensures the youth access to friendly health services; hence it builds capacity of service givers, NGOs and staff at district councils and hospitals.

Arusha City Council led in reported cases (1,363) followed by Arusha District Council (735).

Others district councils and their figures in brackets are Meru (389), Monduli (498), Karatu (487), Longido (287) and Ngorongoro (199), adding that rape cases are still generally many in the region.

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