Goal Zimbabwe reaches out to rural communities

By Mvelo Mthiyane Zondo 


FOLLOWING the surge in sexual harassment of women and young girls, the Government
and private players have engaged a gear up in a bid to flush out perpetrators, while protecting
the victims.
Last week, Goal Zimbabwe, a local humanitarian organisation, held campaigns in Gwanda
District, where they visited rural communities.
Goal Zimbabwe programmes officer, Nomthandazo Jones, said the mobile roadshow was
meant to reach out to more communities during their awareness campaigns.
“We were basically doing a mobile campaign on Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and
Abuse (PSEA).
“Our key message is that humanitarian aid is free, and we were raising community awareness
on this. That it is the right of communities to receive aid for free, and if they experience
sexual exploitation and abuse they can utilise GBV reporting channels, including the Musasa
toll-free numbers and PSEA focal persons within the DSD and NGOs,” explained Jones.
People in need of humanitarian aid should receive it for free. The officer also assured victims
that their identities would be protected, hence they should not suffer or die in silence.
“If you want to report a case of sexual exploitation and abuse but you fear stigmatisation and
rejection by your family and community, don’t stress because your report will be strictly
confidential and you can also report anonymously,” assured the Goal Zimbabwe officer.
The Government, through its various organs, investigated and revealed that a lot of sexual
exploitation cases go unreported, especially those involving close relatives.
The acting Matabeleland South Provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector
Thandolwenkosi Moyo, blamed family members, who harbour criminals at the expense of the
girl child.
“It is painful to note that a lot of criminal cases, especially in rural communities, go
“Rape victims are traumatised by their perpetrators whom they live with on a daily basis.
“Male guardians and breadwinners take advantage of vulnerable young girls. Even if the
victim reports the abuse to her mother or grandmother, she’s restrained from exposing the
relative because of fear that he will withdraw his support for the family.
“Besides, some say once reported they will because a laughing stock in society yet the
victims suffer in silence,” said Ass Insp Moyo. 
He, however, urged members of the community to report any criminal cases to the police, be
it sexual exploitation or whatever nature the crime might be.

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