HomeNewsRape increase: Women live in fear

Rape increase: Women live in fear


LATEST findings by police that 2 405 children were raped in 10 months have sent shivers among women in the country as the cases seem to be soaring to an unbelievable level.

Report by Jairos Saunyama Own Correspondent

Officer Commanding the Victim Friendly Unit Commissioner Isabella Sergio, speaking at the launch of ZRP’s Crime Awareness Campaign in the capital recently, said the force was worried about the abuse of children.

“As an organisation, we are obviously worried by the fact that children continue to bear the brunt of sexual offences.

“The majority of reported cases have been perpetrated against children under the age of 18 years,” she said.

This is not about juveniles only, but women in general are being victimised by rapists.

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstats) Quarterly Digest of Statistics, a total of 2 195 cases of rape were reported in the first five months of 2012.

The recent findings by Zimstats and the United Nations Children’s Educational Fund (Unicef) that one in three girls is raped or sexually assaulted before she reaches the age of 18, is a clear sign of the girl child living in fear of the known.
According to police, rape cases are being fuelled by a number of reasons, one being carelessness of parents and other custodians.

Sergio said rapists seemed to take advantage of children’s naïveté, vulnerability and inability to protect themselves.
“Parents leave minors in the custody of male relatives or their neighbours as they go about their activities. This exposes them to sexual abuse,” she said.

Sergio said during school days, some children go to and from school unaccompanied, with some of them using shortcuts such as secluded areas, thereby exposing themselves to danger.

“What has become more worrisome now is that boys under the age of 18 years have developed a habit of sexually abusing young girls below 12 years.

“These teenage boys take advantage of unaccompanied minors left in their custody or waylay them in secluded footpaths, bushy areas and maize fields, as well as along the distances between schools and homesteads, especially in rural areas,” she said.

Zimstats and Unicef found out that of all the child sexual abuse cases, females accounted for over 90% of child survivors of sexual abuse. Most of the girls aged 12 and above were sexually abused in the homes of their peers and boyfriends.
Girls below 12 were mostly abused at their homes. Children aged 13 to 16 years old made up close to 50% of the cases with over 70% of all abuses happening in urban areas.

Over 90% of child sexual abuse perpetrators were males and the average perpetrator age was 22.

Survivors reported that they had a pre-existing relationship with the perpetrators in most of the cases.

Children reported that the sexual abuse occurred more than once in over 40% of the cases.

Of the abused children, only 2,4% received support and care with 97,6% not receiving any form of treatment.

People interviewed bemoaned lack of stringent laws in dealing with perpetrators of rape.

“The continuing rise of rape cases is something that needs to be dealt with and if no tangible measures are taken, then we are living in hell.

“Statistics must guide policymakers in coming up with solutions to clamp down on sexual abuse of the girl child,” said Patrick Mheta, a Harare resident.

Radical feminist Betty Makoni is always saying not enough is being done by policymakers to stop rapists from victimising innocent girls.

“Many times I took little girls to police stations where the rapist was right there with us and we did not need any parade of the rapist to identify him at all. But the next day we saw him walking scot free on bail which lasted forever,” she said.
David Chidende, programmes officer for lobby group Youth Information Education for Behavioural Change said there was need for stringent laws to protect the girl child.

“The ever-increasing number on rape cases is worrisome. We really don’t know what policymakers are thinking of, but we will advocate for redressing of the law on sexual abuse,” he said.

Sociologist Darlington Nyabiko said sexual abuse of girls was extreme because a good number of girls who suffered from sexual abuse did not raise any alarm.

“The disturbing statistics that only a percentage of victims of sexual abuse received support clearly reveals that many victims do not report.

“Many girls are being sexually abused and in some cases, they are even being raped. But they tend to keep quite,” he said.
Nyabiko added that most girls lacked knowledge on what sexual abuse was.

“A number of girls seem not to know what sexual abuse is and hence most of them are silent victims of sexual abuse.”
There are fears that the number could be higher as some cases go unreported.

But it is in May where the statistics were gory, as 470 women were subjected to sexual assaults. This translated to 15 women being raped daily or an equivalent of one woman being abused every 90 minutes.

The statistics revealed that in January, 427 women were raped, while in February 428 were abused.

In March, 425 women were abused, with the number rising to 445 the following month and peaking at 470 in May.

However, this could be a slight improvement from 2011 figures, where a total of 5 449 cases were recorded — easily the highest figure compared to the two preceding years.

In 2010, 4 450 cases where reported while in 2009, 3 481 cases were recorded.

During the first five months of the year, 940 cases of indecent assault were recorded, as compared to 472 in the corresponding period in 2011.

A total of 1 610 cases of indecent assault were recorded in 2011, with 2 484 and 1 124 in 2010 and 2009 respectively.

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  1. Its an unwelcomed environment our women are living in.what is needed is a heavy investment on behavior change among the youth,educating parents and gadients to be responsible.Parents should undestand the nature of environment they ar living in,for instance in a gheto there is need to make sure that children are not left alone at home,when going to school,grocery shops etc.In addition the law should play its role.Perpetrator should face heavy sentance.

  2. This is one of the signs that there is lawlessness in our country. You might heap the blame on Policy Makers but I think the Police and courts are there as well as prisons but these people are spending more time imprisoning innocent people like those 29 MDC activists. Beside that Police are busy looting money from Kombis instead of protecting the vulnerable children. Its a shame. Leave Policy Makers alone Security must do its work period.

  3. when you are a victim of sexual abuse its hard enough to find courage to report the culprit.There are about more 4000 girls who are being victimised every year.the culprits dont deserve to walk out freely they must be behind bars 4 the rest of their lives.Their ‘spitting black mambas’ must be chopped off….they must be castrated

  4. We really can’t tell when danger strikes us. This incident may happen to everyone and without even knowing, it will also happen into our own family. I am a mother, and I’m worried that I’ve been hearing a lot of the same news coming up about attempted rape cases. So I thought of searching a way, so I can protect my family. Luckily, my friend introduces me this mobile-based application, which is very interesting. An application which can be press silently and has a direct routing to the nearest 911 station with the exact location, so the 911 responder will be dispatch to where the incident occur.

  5. women have adopted provocative dressing stance which make it difficult for certain type of guys to resist. So the first thing, women should respect themselves so that they command respect from their counterparts. However,men shld learn to coexist with such type of immoral ladies.

  6. RAPE AIN’T GOOD and a woma can dress in short attire and it should never be construed as a come on by any man. Police, Policy makers etc are there but rape isn’t going to stop just because. nononononono!! RAPE is purely an evil moment of premeditated weakness and lust by a person and anyone can be visited by this demon once the environment is conducive. A resident of my hood brought her daughter to the clinic after noticing that the minor was having difficulty walking. the nurses discovered horrific damage to this nine year old and evidence of frequent penetration by a fully developed male organ. The child refused to name the culprit…. no no no she was clearly fearfull of the perpetrator. the nurse advised the mother that a report will be made to the police but the woman begged that the report be stopped. I later asked the nurse what became of the child and was told this…amai vakadzoka nemwana wavo vakati..Tatauara nababa nyaya iyi baba vakati tiende kunapastor…pastor vakati mweya yetsvina yabata mwana hapana rape…
    varume nyaya iyi ye rape mumba yakati tekeshe ende pasina mareports…saka mwana iyeyu achakura ari munhu akadii… Ini ndinoti ndi baba vacho vakabata mwana and I made it my business to look for this man… I NOW KNOW HIM AND I DONT LIKE HIS DOMESTIC SETUP AT ALL….VERY SUSPICIOUS….the question now is saka what??? ndamuziva what do I do??? This is one incident that has so affected me and will probably stick in my memory to the end of my days….

  7. It’s just a game, ladiz said they can also do rape.So they want to see who can win.I think they are the side effects of the 50-50 thing.we just need to be born again.

  8. Wesango your account gives a good measure of the extent of the gravity of the problem. Most of these rape cases are happening in the homes and the pepetrators are well known to the victim. This complicates the whole process of bringing the culprit to book especially when the victim is of young age. The problem requires a three pronged approach. 1 Education of the girl child in the classroom of what sexual abuse is and what rights & protection they have. 2. The rights and protection structures must be in place in order that support to the victim is available.3. Pepetrators must never be allowed to go scot free. The law must be swift in dealing with such matters. Addressing sexual abuse is very possible the challenge do we have the right people in our government and parliament. Our politicians are a disgrace and unfortunately the so called draft constitution does not make them accountable. If anything we need for a constitution it was making politicians accountable. Lack of accountability is the biggest curse in Africa.

  9. Rape Rape all over the world. Why blaming the police. The police are doing their best to put the perpetrators to book and bring them to court but eish, sometimes they walk out freely, or sentenced to community service of even kess than 100hrs. I witnsed this my dear friends . My sister was once victimised and i attened the court i cant tell how much i felt wen i walked out of the court using the same door with the perpetrator

  10. Rape Rape all over the world. Why blaming the police. The police are doing their best to put the perpetrators to book and bring them to court but eish, sometimes they walk out freely, or sentenced to community service of even kess than 100hrs. I witnsed this my dear friends . My sister was once victimised and i attened the court i cant tell how much i felt wen i walked out of the court using the same door with the perpetrator.

  11. Its sad and scary news to hear about what zimbabweans man or say African man are behaving thats what we call in human how can one rape their daughter? Ndashaya remuromo. Davy who are you to tell woman what to wear and what not to wear urimudzvanyiriri and munhu asingazvibate urimhunhu wenyama so pliz learn to control yourself kare zvavaipfeka nhembe you tell me kuti vakadzi vaigara vachibatwa chibaro here? And those mothers who do not want to speak out inofa kwamuri nekuti munenge muchukurudzira kuti huori huitike. Zvakare siyanai nezvevaporifita nekuti ndivo maculprits makuru vanosevedzesa huporofita hwavo for abuse. Vanhu gatidzidzei from the incidents that have happened before and change it does not help[ to keep on crying. it begins with you and me so let’s act. Report these cases to the authorities.

  12. @ chinja, a good point man. We need to take responsibilities in our lives, you can’t blame the owner of the house that you stole because his curtains were transparent, otherwise you wouldn’t have stolen??? the element of stealing would have been there before you even came across the easier & endangered targets/ victims. Davy you need to bury that idea of blaming other people for your own foolishness.

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