domestic violence.jpgStatistics released by Musasa Project reveal that cases of gender based violence continue to increase, with rape cases across the country topping the list in Harare and Masvingo Provinces.

 
Although the DomesticViolence Act which was promulgated a few years ago is a progressive piece of legislation meant to decisively deal with cases of gender based violence, such cases however continue to increase across the country.

Statistics compiled by Musasa Project indicate that reported cases of gender based violence have increased by 26.57% this year compared to 2008.

 

In 2008, the country recorded 1433 cases, but the year 2010 saw 381 more cases bringing this year’s figures to 1814 cases. However this might just be a fraction of the actual figures, as some such cases often go unreported.

A victim of domestic violence in Harare who says for the past few years she has been battered by her husband, said she has decided to leave him as she is now fearing for her life as she is now aware that some women have been gruesomely murdered by their violent spouses.

“I have been in this relationship for the past 5 years and 2 years ago the man became violent. He drinks a lot and beats me up.Yesterday he battered me and I have decided to leave because I will die,” she said.

Musasa Project director, Ms Netty Musanhu says the Domestic Violence Act passed a few years ago, is highly regarded internationally but much more needs to be done to change behavior and influence dispute resolution patterns.

“We have certain cultural practices that fuel gender based violence and there is need to address the root cause of the problem. We need to work with traditional leaders and church leaders to transform the mindset of the majority,” said Ms Musanhu.

Zimbabwe is already party to a number of regional and continental protocols on women’s rights and other gender policies meant to eradicate acts of violence in the home but many women, men and children continue to be victims of gender violence,  prompting calls for concrete measures to be adopted to create a more tolerant society that will not allow any form of violence.