Spike in male victims of domestic abuse

THE Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) has said it has recorded a spike in cases where men were victims of gender-based violence from their female partners.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

The issue came out in the ZGC 2015 and 2016 annual report, which were tabled this week in Parliament by Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.

“The ZGC recorded a high number of men reporting gender-based violence cases perpetrated by female intimate partners,” the report read.

“The trend was contrary to the general perception that women make up the larger proportion of victims in GBV issues.”

Although they did not specifically give a breakdown in the report of how many men reported GBV issues compared to women, they said in 2015 and 2016, they handled 22 cases of which 10 were cases of GBV, one land dispute issue, four inheritance issues, three divorce settlements, one sexual assault case, two labour disputes, and one case of matrimonial property attached by commercial banks.

“Some of the cases that have been handled by the commission include inheritance cases arising from property grabbing by relatives of deceased spouses. The commission observed that the use of matrimonial homes as collateral impacts negatively on laws dealing with community of property and marriage laws,” the commission said.

The ZGC called for a review of some provisions in the Banking Act to ensure it outlaws the use of matrimonial homes for collateral without carrying out due diligence.

They also said at one time, they had to issue a strong statement after the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) subjected a pregnant candidate to justify her readiness to take up a judicial appointment in view of her impending role as a mother.

“The commission viewed this as a violation of gender rights and strongly condemned the practice.”

The ZGC said they also monitored issues to do with ending early child marriages, which included monitoring of reform of marriage laws and implementation of new and existing laws, investigating drivers of early child marriages, creating awareness of child marriages, receiving and investigating complaints and monitoring the prosecution of cases involving child marriages to ensure that justice is delivered.


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