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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

GBV one-stop centres gain traction

Story by Tapiwa Machemedze

ONE-STOP centres for gender-based violence are achieving the desired results, amid reports of an increase in the number of people who are speaking out against GBV.

Positive strides have been made to end gender-based violence in rural communities as more survivors are taking action by speaking out against abuse.

The SASA programme, coordinated by the Zimbabwe Association of Church Related Hospitals (ZACH) is one of the initiatives being undertaken to encourage people to speak out against GBV which is linked to the spread of HIV.

ZACH Programme Coordinator Dr Chidzewere Nzou told the ZBC News, “SASA is a tool that we are using as ZACH to fight gender-based violence. Statistics are also showing that GBV is related to HIV so the higher the GBV the higher the HIV and when we look at our statistics, we see that women are mostly affected by HIV because women may end up not having the power to negotiate for safer sex.”

Changing harmful religious and cultural practices as well as community engagement are some of the strategies being employed to reduce incidences of GBV.

“As we are into the action phase of the SASA programme, we are calling upon all those people who appreciate the dangers of gender-based violence to come together, use their power to influence and sustain change in the communities including negotiation with religious beliefs, traditional beliefs to formulate by-laws that promote better chances for women not to be abused,” said ZACH programmes officer, Mr. Maxwell Hombiro.

Statistics show that from January to June this year, 1466 reports of GBV were made at one-stop centres across the country.

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