Livingstone District has recorded over 700 defilement cases between 2011 and 2015, with the youngest victim being six weeks old.
And Livingstone District Administrative Officer Harriet Kawina said if allowed to thrive, gender based violence would continue wreaking havoc in homes and communities and limit people’s potential to develop.
Livingstone District Anti-Gender Task Force Representative Derrick Sialondwe who confirmed the development today said 725 defilement cases, 1692 emotional abuse cases, 64 incest cases, 326 spouse battery cases and 2003 child neglect cases were recorded from October 2011 up to September this year.
Mr. Sialondwe said the youngest victim of sexual and gender based violence (GBV) during the stated period was a six weeks old toddler at the time she was defiled by her biological father.
“Furthermore, we recorded 73 rape cases, 435 early pregnancies, 69 child marriages 2093 marital disputes, five sodomy cases and three sexual harassment cases,” he said.
He said this in Livingstone on Tuesday during an orientation workshop on Gender Based Violence organized by the Anti-Gender Task Force, with support from the Ministry of Gender, Irish Aid, Swedish Embassy and United Nations Zambia.
The prevalence of some cases such as early pregnancies was steadily increasing considering that the figures stood at 86 in 2013 but rose to 245 in 2014 among school going children between the age of 12 and 15 years, he said.
“ The Child Sexual Abuse Center at Livingstone Central Hospital handled a total of 5712 sexual and gender based violence cases during the period under review, ‘ he said..
He stressed the need to sensitize boys as the majority of cases reported involved women and girls.
“Boys are also being abused but they are not reporting the culprits to the authorities. There is urgent need to sensitize them so that they can also be protected,” he said.
And speaking earlier, Livingstone District Administrative Officer Harriet Kawina said if allowed to thrive, gender based violence would continue wreaking havoc in homes and communities and limit people’s potential to develop.
Ms Kawina said GBV was a detrimental vice that had to be curbed at all costs through awareness campaigns.
“GBV is a detrimental vice which we should curb at all costs. We can do more as a district to create awareness to prevent would be perpetrators from engaging in the vice. People must be made to understand that GBV cases are criminal in nature,” she said.
The Livingstone Anti-Gender Task Force was established last year to coordinate and complement the efforts of all stakeholders involved in addressing GBV.