By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
There are concerns that most women who are being abused particularly young women are not eager to speak out against violations perpetrated against them ,this publication heard.
Deliberations at the recently Female Student Network’s commemorations of 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence revealed a worrying trend that most abused women do not have the nerve to report such cases .
According to MP Joyce Jaja,who sits in the parliamentary portfolio committees of women affairs,higher and tertiary education, she has interfaced with a lot of harrowing testimonies of abuse of young women especially in tertiary institutions most of them which have not been reported for fear of backlash or victimization in some instances.
“Our work as parliamentarians has made us unearth a lot of sad stories at our tertiary institutions where our girls are being abused but they are reluctant to report such cases because some end up being victimized.
“But what I can assure you is that don’t hesitate to approach us as legislators because we have the resolve to ensure sanity prevails in these institutions,”said Jaja.
This was also echoed by FSN chairperson Ms Sibongile Gwanzura who dissuaded young women from being ‘enticed’ not to speak out when abused.
“From the legal perspective we have had numerous challenges of young women who would have in the first instances keen to pursue abuse charges but along the way they falter.
“It is because some being adults are then enticed with marriage or money to drop the matter but what I encourage you is not to relent because in the future you may regret ,”cautioned Gwanzura.
Representatives from police’s Victim’s Friendly Unit(VFU) also noted the disparities in the cases of violations reported at their police stations compared to those recorded by civic society organisations like Msasa,FSN and other like-minded organisations saying there was the need for continuous encouragement for the victims to press charges when violated.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.