74 percent increase in rape cases in Hwange district.

By Rutendo Mapfumo

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Cases of rape in Hwange district have shockingly risen by 74 percent from last year 2021 to date,
the police’s Victim Friendly Unit has revealed.
Between January and November 30, last year, the VFU reported 31 cases while in January to
November 30, this year, 54 cases have been reported.
Speaking during the 16 days activism against gender based violence in Cross Dete at Dampa
Secondary School, police encouraged girls and women to come forward and report cases of rape.
The VFU also revealed that during the same period there was an increase of domestic violence
cases from 90 to 121. Cases that are linked to the contravention of section 70 of the constitution
of Zimbabwe increased from 57 cases in 2021 to 77 cases in 2022.
Total cases of sexual offences and domestic violence in Hwange district are a shocking 346.
What is even more alarming are the increasing cases of sexual harassment and abuse of young
girls by people known or close to them who are supposed to be their guardians.
The Chairperson of Women Coalition of Zimbabwe Hwange Chapter, Sera Phiri appealed to the
police to decentralize their Victim Friendly Units so that a larger population can access them
quicker whenever the need arises.
We appeal for VFU facilities to be decentralised to remote and hard to reach areas and ensure
extension of VFU opening hours to ensure that survivors and complaints are assisted urgently,"
she said adding that there was a need to continuously train members of the force on how to
handle cases brought to the VFU so that they can take appropriate action in time.
Phiri further appealed to the Ministries of Justice, legal and parliamentary affairs and that women
Affairs, Community, small and Medium Enterprise development to recapacitate and adequately
finance the Anti-Domestic Violence which ceased to be operational thus negatively impacting on
the national GBV coordination mechanism
The increasing cases of sexual exploitation and abuse of girls, intimate partner violence,
trafficking and violence against women with the impending cycle is worrying.
Research has shown that in Zimbabwe, about one in four women have experienced sexual
violence since the age of 19.

This years national theme of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence is All lives
matter! End Gender based violence Now, it also resonates with the UN theme which says Unite!
Activism to end violence against women and girls.

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