–Livingstone District Administrative Officer Harriet Kawina has called on men who are victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV) not to suffer in silence but report the culprits to the authorities.
Ms Kawina said it was imperative for the law to be applied equally to both male and female perpetrators of GBV.
“It is not just women who are victims of GBV, but men as well. So men should speak out when they realize that they are being abused…this is what it means when we say we are fighting for equality,” she said.
Ms Kawina said this in Livingstone today during the opening of the 2014 stakeholders second quarterly meeting on Gender Based Violence organized by the Non-Governmental Organization Coordinating Council (NGOCC), at Fairmount hotel.
She further said there was urgent need to curb the rising number of GBV cases as the vice resulted in marital disputes, child neglect, economic hardships and generally made life unbearable.
Earlier, Livingstone General Hospital GBV Clinic Coordinator Derrick Sialondwe said GBV cases were on the increase in the district.
Mr Sialondwe said 163 GBV cases were recorded between April and June this year in the district.
He explained that the cases included seven involving rape, five child marriages, 39 defilements and six spouse battery.
Others were 40 of child neglect, 19 psychological abuse and 47 marital disputes.
Mr. Sialondwe said it was regrettable that some of the victims of sexual abuse tested HIV positive as they delayed to report the cases and seek medical intervention.
He said it was imperative for victims of sexual abuse to seek medical intervention promptly to prevent getting infected with sexually transmitted infections.
Meanwhile, Livingstone Central Victim Support Unit Officer-In-Charge Inspector Theresa Mpanza also confirmed that a total of 163 GBV cases were recorded in the tourist capital from January to June this year, while 84 arrests were made for the same offences.
And during the meeting, NGOCC representative Christine Mutema handed over a desktop computer and printer to Livingstone Central Victim Support Unit to enable them establish a data base for GBV cases.
The Young Christian Women’s Association (YWCA) also received a desktop computer and printer from NGOCC with the view to enhancing their GBV data storage system.