Men invisible victims of GBV

By ZBC Reporter

Contrary to popular belief, an increasing number of men have become victims of gender-based violence.

Fungai Jachi takes a closer look at this worrying trend in the wake of calls for male victims to get help.

When it comes to abuse in a relationship, the obvious assumption is that the victims are always female.

It has however emerged that a growing number of men after suffering in silence.

38-year-old Amadu Mambo is one such individual who suffered abuse during his two year marriage.

“Emotional abuse was the major form of abuse I went through. She would shout at me and tell me hurtful things. At times she would get physical with me because I remember at one time she wielded an axe and almost struck me. It was difficult for me to go to report her but found relief in finding a safe space to share my story. Up to now I have not healed from the trauma but I am glad I found people to share with. I urge men to share what will be troubling them because if they don’t some will end up committing suicide,” he explained.

According to a local Counsellor Never Mujikwa, what is even more worrying is the fact that most of these male victims suffer in silence with the rallying call during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence being for them to come forward and get help.

“It is still difficult for men to share when they are in abusive relationships but there has a break through since we are getting more men coming through for counselling. However, going to the police to report still remains a major challenge,” he said.

Padare Men’s Forum Programmes Officer Zipho Ndebele highlighted some of the cases they deal with as an organisation noting that emotional abuse as the most rampant.

“Emotional abuse tops the cases we deal with, it’s important to note that most men are afraid to report abuse cases because of the stigma they will suffer from society. It is a good thing that more men are coming to us for help that is a good sign that we are getting someone where,” said Ndebele.

Research shows that one in four men will experience some form of physical abuse in a relationship during their lifetime and are likely to deal with emotional, psychological, verbal or even sexual abuse.

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