Gender Based Violence help line flooded by male callers seeking help


LIFELINE Zambia ‘933’ toll free help line receives more male callers than female callers seeking help on gender-based violence (GBV) issues, programmes and monitoring manager Don Miyanda has said.
Mr Miyanda said the gap was slowly closing as females have started calling the help line but that men were still in the majority because they were ashamed of opening up when abused.
Speaking in an interview recently, Mr Miyanda said men usually avoid disclosing the abuse they undergo in their homes.
“When men are at social gatherings like drinking places they only discuss other issues and pretend that all is well in their homes; yet sometimes they go home late for fear of the abuse they are subjected to at home,” he said.
Mr Miyanda said it is easier for men to make a phone call and pour out their heart to a counsellor than to physically talk to someone during counselling.
He said men usually feel that they will be discriminated against or laughed at if they talk about their plight in public.
Mr Miyanda also said the aim of the counselling sessions conducted by the Lifeline group is to build relations; if need arises cases are reported to the Victim Support Unit, who refer them to court.
He said some spouses do not seek help when it comes to GBV issues for fear of their partners being imprisoned.
“Women are the most vulnerable when it comes to GBV issues They do not report when they are abused because they are not financially independent and are unable to fend for their families in case the bread winner is imprisoned,” he said.
933 Gender-Based Violence is a toll-free help line aimed at providing holistic psycho-social support to many adults who are in need of help although children also call the help line. It reaches out to all and usually receives a lot of cases that are always prominent in communities such as GBV and health issues.
Northern Province has continued to record the highest of the numbers of callers, followed by Eastern and Central province while callers from Lusaka, Southern and Copperbelt province have steadily been calling in, too. Western and North-Western provinces rank the lowest all the time.