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Friday, May 24, 2024
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Midlands’ GBV One Stop Centre a game changer

Story by Tafara Chikumira

THE Midlands One Stop Centre is proving to be a game changer in fighting gender-based violence (GBV) through massive awareness campaigns across the province.

Various awareness campaigns by stakeholders dealing with issues of GBV seem to be striking the right code, with survivors of abuse now thronging the One Stop Centre for various services.

Midlands province One Stop Centre – Administrator, Ms Nyarai Mubaiwa said, “We have been moving from Mberengwa to Gokwe educating people about our one-stop centre.

“This year alone, we have managed to see more than 1 200 people. This is by far higher than the 800 people who sought services at the centre last year. They seem to understand what GBV entails, which they initially assumed to be normal.”

Of concern is that a bigger chunk of the cases are coming from people entrusted with minors, amid calls for the decentralisation of the centres.

“About 40 percent of cases we received are those of people who would have been left entrusted with children in their care. We have fathers who abuse their children and some teens from 14 years to 18 years who would be boyfriend and girlfriend engaging in GBV-associated issues.

“Another concern is that we only have this facility here in Gweru, so we are calling for the decentralisation of such centres so that people in marginalised areas can also get access to the services. There is also a need to train more nurses in forensic investigations which is critical to prove some of the cases,” said Ms Mubaiwa.

The government has taken a bold step in dealing with issues of GBV, with the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development taking the lead in formulating various policies to nip the vice in the bud.

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