Inequalities in economic status contribute to high GBV cases – YWCA  

By Staff Reporter

THE Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) says inequalities in economic status of couples in homes has contributed to the raise in the gender-based violence this year.

Last week police announced a rise in the reported gender-based violence cases to over 6,000 in the third quarter of 2018.

In an interview with NewsDayZambia.com,  YWCA Programmes Manager Mirriam Mwiinga said when the economic status of either a man or woman went down in a home, it had psychological effect on individuals.

Mwiinga encouraged couples or spouses going through difficult times to seek the services of a psychiatrist to help them on how to deal with their situation before it turned violent.

“Most of the cases which are being reported to our association are cases to do with financial challenges, if the man has no money he reacts negatively, and if the man has money he sometimes doesn’t sleep at home and neglect the family, and most of the time they face difficulties in the sharing of money in a home, so when the economy came down in the house that led to cases of GBV and we also believe that dynamics leads to GBV,” said Mwiinga.

And Mwiinga expressed optimism that the trust and confidence built between communities and service providers – both governmental such as the police and civil society organisations had helped increase the number of reported cases.

“At least now we have seen an increase in reported GBV cases because people now understand that it’s not only about beating a spouse while the laws which have been put in place have also helped. The Zambia police Victim Support Unit has really helped of late, people are slowly getting to understand what GBV is,” she said.

Mwiinga added that there was a lot more which needed to be done from the general public and many organisations in the fight against gender based violence.

She expressed sadness to see the trend of people taking video and picture, which only reinforce GBV or promote stigma for social media consumption.

She has since called on the community across the country to report any cases of gender-based violence be it on men or women.

Two weeks ago police spokesperson Esther Katongo stated that 6,114 cases have been recorded compared to 5,096 cases during the same period in 2017 showing an increase by 1,018 representing 16.7%.

Katongo also disclosed that a total of 664 cases of child defilement were recorded representing 10.9% increase of the total reported cases out of which three were against boys while the rest were against girls.

She said Lusaka Province recorded the highest number of Child defilement cases with 320, representing 48.2% of the child defilement cases reported countrywide, Southern Province recorded 73 cases representing 11.0%, followed by Central Province with 63 cases or 9.5%, Eastern Province had 60 cases or 9%, and Copperbelt Province recorded 49 cases representing 7.4%.

“Other provinces include Western and North Western both with 29 cases representing 4.4% each, Muchinga had 17 cases or 2.6%, Luapula had 14 cases or 2.1%, TAZARA had five cases which is 0.8%, Northern Province recorded four cases representing 0.6% while Airports Division recorded one case representing 0.2%,” said Katongo.

She said that a total number of 124 cases representing 2% were reports of rape while 23 cases were attempted rape.

“Further on sexual offences, the country recorded 37 cases of indecent assault translating to 0.6% of the total reported GBV cases out of which two  were against male adults, 26 against female adults and nine against girls. Twelve cases of incest involving six female adults and six girls were reported countrywide. Twenty-four GBV related murder cases were reported translating to 0.4% of the total reported cases out of which 11 victims were female adults representing 45.8%, five were male adult victims, five girls translating to 20.8 % while three (03) were boys giving a percentage of 12.5,” she said.