By Thandeka Moyo
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has urged members of the public to help report sexual abuse cases perpetrated by pastors, prophets and traditional leaders which are reportedly on the rise.
In a statement, ZRP said families must report such abuses as many girls and women often suffer in silence when families choose to protect abusers.
“The ZRP is concerned with unconfirmed reports of young girls and women being abused by some traditional healers, prophets, church leaders and lecturers. Members of the public are therefore urged to report these cases without delay for the law to take its course,” read the ZRP statement.
“While there is no time limit on when a victim can report, cases should be speedily reported to the nearest police station or Victim Friendly Unit. We undertake to swiftly investigate all reported cases regardless of one’s status, station and social standing.”
Police appealed for maximum cooperation from members of the public in dealing with sexual abuse of girls who are the future of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe recorded a 15 percent increase in sexual abuse cases mostly affecting teenage girls with Harare leading while Matabeleland North recorded the least.
Defined as any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually, sexual violence is most prevalent in young women.
According to a recent National Aids Council report, teens, some of whom will have been abused, fuel new HIV infections.
The report shows that HIV prevalence among 16-24 year-old females is 4.5 percent and 3.5 percent in males.
“Harare, Manicaland and Mashonaland West provinces recorded the highest number of sexual abuse cases and Matabeleland North recorded the lowest. Generally, there was a 14.9 percent increase in sexual abuse cases from 2017 to 2018,” read the report. The Chronicle