Sexual abuse rampant in Mash West
Chinhoyi(The Telegraph-New Ziana) -Cases of sexual abuse were rampant in the province during the second and third quarter of the year with the majority of victims aged between 10 and 14 years, a Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) official has said.
Sister Manjoro told stakeholders during a meeting which the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development organised on measures to reduce sexual abuse and gender based violence (GBV) that children aged between 10 and 14 years were sexually abused most, with 98 cases being reported in the second quarter alone.
She said there was need to target the age group in efforts to end the abuses.
As part of efforts to end GBV and sexual abuse, the MOHCC trained health workers to educate the communities and to assist survivors of sexual abuse as they needed medical attention within 72 hours.
“We managed to train 56 workers in the rural areas like Hurungwe and Makonde because survivors of sexual abuse need attention in 72 hours and need treatment to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, so we have chosen to place health workers in rural areas to avoid delays,” said Sister Manjoro.
Stakeholders came up with solutions to assist survivors of sexual abuse and gender based violence as they faced challenges of limited mobility and communication.
Takudzwa Nkomo from the Department of Social Welfare said they have managed to resolve some of the abuse cases that they received and attributed the success to raising awareness in the wards on child care and protection.
“So far we have received various cases totalling 171 and some have been resolved. There is need to hold family clubs and action groups to boost vibrancy in communities so as to end GBV and sexual abuse.
“Also there is a transport voucher system which is an initiative by donors to transport survivors of sexual abuse so as to report their cases and to seek medication as transport is becoming expensive and if it remains a barrier perpetrators will not be arrested,” he said.