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GBV against men insignificant:Padare-Enkundleni

The level of domestic violence suffered by men is insignificant and cannot warrant any form of intervention, a men’s forum on gender organisation Padare-Enkundleni said, despite growing sentiments that males were equally exposed to gender based violence as females.

Speaking during a policy dialogue meeting in Bulawayo yesterday, Padare-Enkundleni programmes officer Munyaradzi Nhengo said although there were concerns that men were also victims of gender based violence, they were the major perpetrators.

“Men are the drivers of gender based violence and cases where they are abused are not so pronounced hence emphasis should be put on interrogating why they abuse their women,” said Nhengo.

He said there was a need need for a transformative approach to deal with women by all men.

“Men and boys are always viewed in high esteem and they become violent when that esteem is under threat,” said Nhengo.

He called on Government through the Ministry of Women Gender and Community Development to have a serious introspection on why there is gender based violence in the homes.

The law in Zimbabwe recognises that both men and women can fall victim to the scourge. The Domestic Violence Act has also broadened the definition of domestic violence to encompass wicked acts done against men.

A men’s rights activist, Morris Mhlanga said abuse of men is real and if we ignore it, it will become a problem in future.

“We risk to have a society that has powerful women who will abuse men without any checks. That can threaten the development of communities,” said Mhlanga.

The Anti-domestic Violence Council expressed concern, saying cases of violence within homes continue to rise despite the enactment of a relevant law to curb the vice.

In 2011, 10 667 cases of domestic violence were reported, while 13 170 others were reported in 2012.

In the past 10 months, 9 909 cases have been reported.

According to the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey, three in every 10 women in Zimbabwe have suffered some form of physical violence at some point since the age of 15.

In March, Vice President Joice Mujuru said reported cases of domestic violence in Zimbabwe had drastically increased by over 500 percent to nearly 11 000 cases from 2008 to 2012.

by: Makhosi Sibanda, Radio Dialogue, December 17, 2013