Tanzania: Mwananyamala Centre for Victims of Sexual Harassment Manages1000 Cases

A One Stop Centre (OSC) at Mwananyamala Referral Hospital in Dar es Salaam has continued being a big help for victims of sexual harassment, with 1000 cases reported during period from 2019 to 2021.

The centre aims to provide comprehensive care and justice for women and children who have been subjected to violence.

Speaking in interview recently, OSC coordinator Asia Mkini said the centre was established in 2019 after noticing challenges of accessing health services for victims of sexual harassment from different places. "We have been providing legal services, the Police Medical Examination form, popularly known as PF3, HIV/ AIDS protection and victim protection," she said.

She also said, they have been receiving more than three cases a day; most of them are sexual harassment done against girls under the age of 18.

Ms Mkini expounded further that the government through the Ministry of Health, Social Welfare and other stakeholders teamed up to set up the center to help both female and male victims access services to relieve them from complications.

According to her, cases of sexual violence on children, especially girls, have been widely reported "Violence against women is common but social and cultural norms act as barrier for the group to seek help.

Many women cite a lack of care and support as main reason for not reporting incidents to the Police," she explained.

Ms Mkini said: "Due to the reported cases, the children have been revealed that the most dangerous places for them are school toilets, unfinished houses as well as the distance from home to shops when they are sent during nights."

Currently, there are 13 One Stop Centers in different regions whereby in Dar es Salaam they are located within Amana and Mwananyamala referral hospitals. In Arusha there are two and others are in Mbeya and Kigoma.

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