stop_rape.jpgOfficials from Musasa Project say there has been a rapid increase in the number of women seeking refuge at their centres in Masvingo after being raped.

This came out during a domestic violence meeting facilitated by the organisation and attended by 32 chiefs and other key members of communities in Masvingo.

The rising trend of women who are turning up at Musasa Shelters in Masvingo after being raped has become worrisome, with stakeholders coming together to find ways to addressing the continued violation of women.

Nyasha Mazango, programmes officer, gender and peace building, for Musasa Project said four of their shelters in Masvingo are recording between eight and ten cases of rape on a monthly basis.

“As Musasa Project, we have realised that cases of domestic violence are going high. We have shelters in Gutu, Bikita and Mwenezi. The cases of rape are increasing. We want communities to work with us in attending to some of these issues,” said Mazango.

 Mazango said they have brought the chiefs on board in their efforts to address issues of domestic violence given the influential role the traditional leaders play in their societies.

Chief Chitanga who spoke on behalf of the traditional leaders said domestic violence should not be tolerated as it only serves to deter development of any nation.

“As chiefs we say violence has no place in our society. Violence hinders the development of the country. We urge the citizens of Zimbabwe to shun violence,” said Chief Chitanga.

In some cases, victims of domestic violence conceal what they have gone through due to fear of reprisal from their communities.

The meeting, however, agreed that chiefs should encourage victims to report and seek help.