By Staff Reporter
HARARE – Police in Bulawayo have raised concern over increasing cases of gender-based violence in the city.
Female police officers under the banner ZRP Bulawayo Province Women Network on Tuesday held a march in the city centre under the theme, ‘All lives matter! End gender-based violence now’.
The march was held in partnership with organisations such as Family Support Trust, Contact Family Counselling Centre and Justice for Children Trust.
Speaking at the event, Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele urged parents to protect their children following the raping of an 18-month-old baby recently. Said Asst Insp Msebele:
We are commemorating 16 days of activism against gender-based violence as we have noticed that we have these cases within us.
We have noticed that women wake up in the morning to go to the market and leave their children unattended.
The youngest case we have in Bulawayo is of a 1 year and six months who was raped, just imagine this, where was the mother of the child? It is our responsibility to protect these children.
Chairperson of the ZRP Bulawayo Province Women Network, Chief Superintendent Lethiwe Mhandu also implored parents and guardians to protect their children. She said:
We have seen children from the age of five up to even 12 years old, they are being raped by their fathers, male relatives and their neighbours.
It is our responsibility as parents to protect these children, they are vulnerable members of the community.
As police, we urge communities to monitor and know the whereabouts of their children and report all sexual offences within 72 hours so as to obtain post-exposure prophylaxis as it also helps the police to gather evidence.
Chief Superintendent Mhandu also urged men who are victims of GBV to report the abuse so that the perpetrators are held accountable. | CITE