WOMEN must assist men who go through sexual abuse to access counselling and other health services, a Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) official has said.
BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
ZWLA legal officer, Clara Chikohora, said although the majority of domestic violence and sexual abuse victims were women, men were also affected, but the majority suffered in silence.
“We are saying as women let us not shun men who go through abuse,” Chikohora said at a Women Coalition of Zimbabwe public meeting on gender-based violence held in Gweru last Friday.
“There are men who go through various forms of sexual violence such as aggravated indecent assault and we are saying as women let us help our male counterparts to open up. If we shun such victims, we end up having increased cases of depression or even suicide among the affected men.”
Experts say few men report cases of domestic violence and sexual abuse as the country’s patriarchal society often frowns on such men.
A 2015-2016 Zimbabwe Gender Commission report, which was tabled before Parliament early this year, showed that there was a general increase in cases of men as victims of GBV.
Chikohora also said victims, including men, should take advantage of the GBV survivors’ office situated at Gweru Provincial Hospital, where they could also access legal, medical and psycho-social support under one roof.
The one-stop centre comprises a kitchen, a doctor’s examination room, nurses counselling room and legal aid office.