During humanitarian situations such as COVID-19 induced lockdown, drought, natural disasters women, girls and children included face a myriad of challenges which include Child Abuse and Gender Based Violence. According to the United Nations Population Fund Zimbabwe, 1 in 3 women in Zimbabwe have experienced Gender Based Violence (GBV).
GBV is violence directed against a person because of that person’s gender that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately. The following are the forms of GBV
- Physical: it results in injuries, distress and health problems. Typical forms of physical violence are beating, strangling, pushing, and the use of weapons.
- Sexual: it includes sexual acts, attempts to obtain a sexual act, acts to traffic, or acts otherwise directed against a person’s sexuality without the person’s consent.
- Psychological: includes psychologically abusive behaviours, such as controlling, coercion, economic violence and blackmail. .
- Economical: includes deprivation to finances or access to basic services
Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) are seen at an increased risk of abuse by their parents, caregivers, relatives and partners for the young women. It is quite evident that most abuse cases that have been reported are perpetrated by people close. The COVID- 19 induced lockdown has not spared AGYW at all as they are seen in confined spaces with would be perpetrators.
During the COVID-19 pandemic FACT Zimbabwe and partners are offering the following services:
- Legal Services for survivors
- Provision of clinical services and forensic evidence
- Facilitation of referrals for clinical services and places of shelter
- Provision of tele psycho-social support
- The Consortium has a functional helpline to respond to cases of Gender Based Violence and Child Abuse and one can call FACT Zimbabwe Helpline on 08080483 or Childline on 116 for free