2 400 children raped in 10 months

HARARE - Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, is rampant in Zimbabwe with increasing calls to protect children from all forms of abuse and neglect.

In a fresh report, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Victim Friendly Unit, said more than 2 400 children under the age of 18 were victims of rape between January and October. Overall 3 421 sexual abuse cases were reported during the period.

The report said neighbours account for 41 percent of perpetrators, while relatives left in the care of children accounted for 27 percent.

The plight of children seems to be on the increase with a number of cases reported this year.

A father was caught red-handed by a maid raping his 12-year-old daughter in Bulawayo recently. 

Christian Legal Society of Zimbabwe (CLSZ) based in Bulawayo said a child’s background can lead them into crime as offenders or survivors.

CLSZ, team leader Gerald Matiba said they have engaged children who are sexual abuse survivors. In one case, the perpetrator — an adult neighbour, threatened to harm the child’s parents and siblings in order to keep the child quiet about sexual abuse.

“Despite the nature of cases that our organisation is handling, it is our view that children need to be protected from all forms of abuse and neglect,” Matiba said.

“Unfortunately, some children fall prey to maltreatment therefore need not only protection but support and justice.”

Parents need to be educated on the disadvantages of leaving children under the care of grandparents, relatives or friends or alone without making provisions for required resources or documents to promote their upkeep and development for example basic food, clothing, shelter, and child identification documents which help them access child rights.

CLSZ says it has put in place a number of mechanisms to make sure that children are protected.

“Our organisation carries out awareness campaigns in the different communities to conscientise community members about child protection issues for example the support of children, the role and responsibilities of children and child abuse issues,” Matiba said.

Comments (1)

This is sad...especially when you look at the statistics...in a day, about 10 children are raped by someone they trust, someone who should be protecting that child from the very thing they are doing...this world is wicked!

Louise - 24 October 2013

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