Byo women organisations urge victims to expose perpetrators

BY CRAIG MOYO

WOMEN organisations in Bulawayo, that are on gender-based violence awareness campaigns, are calling on violence victims to expose the perpetrators.

Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), during one of its ongoing public awareness campaigns in the city on Thursday, said their aim was to support GBV victims by breaking the stigma associated with the vice.

WCoZ Bulawayo Chapter committee member Minella Mono lamented the ill-treatment of female victims when they reported cases to police.

“Women are usually not treated well when they report issues affecting them as the police do not take women seriously,” Mono said.

She said families and the police need to be taught how to deal with GBV victims.

“Ending violence starts in our homes, where parents have to teach children about sexual, physical and emotional violence. Other victims might fear pressure
from the family and victims need assurance on confidentiality from police. We cannot end gender-based violence, but the best we can do is support them and not
judge them,” Mono said.

Mono said most victims feared going to the police due to officers’ attitude.

Another WCoZ member, Nomalanga Dube, said communities and the police must build working relationships that encourage women to report GBV cases.

“Women should eliminate fear in order to receive justice and female police officers should be the ones who deal with GBV victims, as they are more
understanding. There should be good relations between communities and the police that enable women to report their cases freely because in most instances,
women are afraid to seek assistance,” she said.

WCoZ Bulawayo chapter chairperson Mildred Sandi Moyo also called for the establishment of a strong network between women and the police.

Zimbabwe Republic Police Victim Friendly Unit’s district co-ordinator for Bulawayo Central, Assistant Inspector Ellen Dzirikure, advised women to report rape
cases within 72 hours.

“We encourage women not to hesitate and report rape cases within 72 hours, as the police we will do our best to seek justice for the victims,”
she said.

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