MUSASA PROJECT in collaboration with the Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) has urged members of the public to report all cases of domestic violence and rape saying a lot of cases go unreported.
Speaking at a Family Life and Views workshop in Njube, Musasa Project Bulawayo regional manager Nomthandazo Jones said it was disheartening that some perpetrators of rape and domestic violence were walking free resulting in offenders repeating the same crimes.
“It’s time members of the public reported all cases of rape and domestic abuse to law enforcers as the unreported perpetrators continue to cause more harm to the community.
“A lot of these uncalled for tendencies are ignored at the expense of the victims and in some instances victims are subjected to more harm,” Jones said.
She said in most instances, women tended to fear coming out in the open for fear of victimisation due to economic dependence. Jones said women feared breaking relations and as a result they negotiated with and protected the perpetrators.
“Perpetrators are left to go scot free by women in fear of breaking the relations they have. Some go to the extent of negotiating and putting the law into their own hands while the victims suffer,” she said.
Jones added it was time women empowered themselves by prioritising laws that protected and shielded them from abuse. An LRF officer said it was important for women to know their rights so they did not become victims of abuse. She said it had been noticed that some women did not know their rights and were constantly abused.
“It is important that women know and understand their rights. Many fall victim to abuse and do not report to police as they will not be aware that their rights are being violated,” she said.
Speaking at the same workshop, Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo said a number of domestic violence and rape cases had resulted in an increase in murder cases.
“It is with great concern that a number of domestic violence and rape cases have resulted in murder.
“We are working tirelessly to eradicate such tendencies within our societies and we will continue with the various exercises that we have embarked on in a bid to eliminate such trends,” Moyo said.
He said the police are set to launch an anti-sexual violence campaign in a bid to educate the public on what sexual violence is and how to address it.
Bulawayo Provincial Victim Friendly Unit co-ordinator Inspector Jonnah Mwiriri said rape and domestic violence cases were a cause for concern. He said there was need for the community at large to work together in eliminating rape and domestic violence cases.
“There is a rise in rape and domestic violence cases in the city and women are the main victims. There is a need for the community to work together in eliminating these habits for the safety of everyone,” Mwiriri said.
He said members of the public should desist from using secluded places as they were subjecting themselves to attacks.
“Members of the public should desist from using secluded areas even during the day as they are bound to fall victim to attacks which in many cases result in death,” Mwiriri added.