Covid-19 Leads to Increase of GBV Cases in Zambia

domestic violence

It has become of great concern, looking at how the cases of Gender Based Violence cases keep on raising and according to the statistical analysis of 2020, it shows the cases of Gender Based Violence have risen by 19.8%. In Zambia GBV cases had risen to 7,640 country wide in the third quarter of 2020 compared to 6,788 recorded during the period of 2019.

GBV cases remain high due to the social isolation measures instituted to curb the spread of the Corona Virus, this proved to have worsened inequalities and vulnerability.

Obviously the economic crisis is causing high stress levels in households, as husbands and wives are under serious pressure.

The number of GBV cases is becoming a national crisis that must be quickly addressed. The increase in the number of GBV is an indication that there is need to take the fight against GBV seriously through doubling efforts in sensitization campaigns, engage respected community leaders in the fight against GBV, improve legal support within the criminal justice system for survivors of GBV, enhance community platforms to advocate for positive gender norms and many others.

Gender Based Violence is not just a woman’s issue we all have a role to play in ensuring that both men and women, boys and girls are safe and free from violence and harassment.

We must also work on ending stigma and discrimination associated with men who report having been abused by women.

In Zambia, particularly last year our media platforms have been headlined with stories of men being killed, men being poured hot water, hot cooking oil or hot porridge, men being having their genitals pulled. The aforementioned are a definitely a clear sign that men are also victims of GBV.
Many of such stories go unreported because of stigma and discrimination by society.

We have heard stories of men being laughed and scolded by health and legal services providers when they report having been abused by a spouse or woman, as a result they prefer keeping it to themselves which results in mental problems which if not handled properly may even lead to suicide. Let’s end stigma and discrimination.

As we are in the midst of the corona virus pandemic let us remember to observe the health regulations related to covid 19 and also stop GBV, let all sexes, male and female work together to fight against GBV and see that all perpetrators are brought to justice.

Zambia can attain a better status at global and regional levels if we all work together against such practices.

Rudolf Mwanza
Youths of Substance Forum
National Coordinator.

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