Major milestone in fight against GBV

By Fungai Jachi

WITH more than half of perpetrators of sexual exploitation and gender based violence having been convicted and fined or jailed, a ray of hope has dawned in the country with hopes of ending the twin evils.

Statistics revealed by Family Aids Caring Trust (FACT) show that of the cases reported last year at least 55 percent of the perpetrators were convicted.

From those we have dealt with, 55 percent are already convicted. Our goal is to make sure people who have been accused are convicted. We also want to make sure the justice process is fair and done timeously so that witnesses will still remember the facts of the story,” said FACT Legal Coordinator, Trevor Nyatsanza.

For Girl Up Zimbabwe Regional Leader, Ms Nyasha Muzadzi, convictions in sexual abuse cases show the country is on course in dealing with GBV and sexual violence.

“We are in the right direction as a country but we would like to see a hundred percent conviction rate. So cases should be dealt with expeditiously so that witnesses do not forget the facts. The government is also doing well in terms of raising awareness on gender based violence which is quite huge in the fight against the social ills,” she said.

In recent years, the country has recorded an increase in cases of sexual exploitation of girls and women and gender based violence cases, with nearly 90 percent of the reported cases involving close family members.