HomeLocal NewsImpotent domestic violence law rapped

Impotent domestic violence law rapped

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Three years after Parliament enacted the Domestic Violence Act into law, no one has been imprisoned for more than a year for domestic violence, even if offences were serious.

This was revealed last week by the director of the Musasa Project, Netty Musanhu when her organisation appeared before the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Gender and Development chaired by Chitungwiza senator, James Makore.

“The implementation of the Act is very clear when it comes to issues of physical and sexual violence but is not very specific when it comes to emotional abuse,” Musanhu said.

She said Section Five of the Domestic Violence Act stipulated that where practically possible there should be an office at every police station manned by at least one police officer with expertise in domestic violence.

“What we have realised is that it is not every police station that has victim friendly units and police stations do not even have the resources to effectively offer those services. They cannot even offer expert counselling sessions because most police officers are not even aware of the Domestic Violence Act,” said Musanhu.

She said although an Anti-Domestic Violence Council had been set up, it was not functional as Treasury had not made resources available.

There was also inadequate community sensitisation on issues to do with the Domestic Violence Act.

“Whilst a lot more women in urban areas are coming to utilise the Domestic Violence Act, the situation is different in rural communities where most women are not aware of the existence of the Act,” Musanhu said.

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