’Rise in rape cases worrying’

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POLICE in Gokwe South have expressed concern over the rise in rape cases with more than 50 underage girls raped over the past three months.

BY OWN CORRESPONDENT

Speaking at the launch of the Methodist Development and Relief Agency (MeDRA) community projects in Gokwe last week, police’s victim-friendly unit district officer Sergeant Fanuel Mwadira said in most of the cases, the victims were abused by close relatives.

“Cases of rape have really become a problem in this area — we are dealing with these cases on a daily basis,” he said.

“In the past three months, starting January, more than 50 cases of rape have been reported to us and we are very much sure that many victims are being forced not to report.”

He said close relatives were threatening rape victims, resulting in the increase in early marriages and a rise in HIV infections.

Speaking at the same event, District Development Fund (DDF) coordinator Cletos Pfekeche, who stood in for Gokwe South district administrator, said many cases were going unreported.

“It’s true our young girls are being raped in this area on a daily basis,” he said.

“It is embarrassing that they are being raped by their own parents, brothers and even grandfathers. The numbers presented by the police could be far less what is happening on the ground because we know some of the rape cases are being dealt with at family level.”