GBV cases rife in Mazabuka

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Mazabuka district in Southern Province has continued to record a rise in Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases despite massive sensitisation campaigns that have been embarked on by government and other stakeholders.

  According to Newton Mudenda, a Coordinator for GBV in the area, a total of 1,120 cases were recorded in Mazabuka district at its One Stop Centre.

Mr Mudenda disclosed that on average the centre that is situated within Mazabuka District Hospital and is the first reporting point for victims of any form of sexual violence related offences, records about 350 cases on a monthly basis.

 Mr Mudenda made the revelations yesterday when a team of Irish Embassy officials led by Deputy Chief of mission Patrick McManus visited the centre during the tour of the Irish Aid funded projects in Mazabuka district.

 The Aid was withdrawn from the centre last week for unknown reasons.

 And during the visit to the centre, a total of 10 cases were recorded on yesterday by 15: 00 hours, the cases included one rape and one defilement case.

 Mr Mudenda however singled out lack of staffing at the centre as being the major challenge adding that the centre was equally facing a challenge of withdrawing of cases by victims of sexual violence due to unknown reasons.

 He also pointed out the late reporting of cases to the centre on the part of victims being another challenge that has compromised the successful prosecution of cases in the courts of law because evidence in most cases gets destroyed.

 Mr Mudenda further disclosed that the establishment of the centre at the hospital has helped in fighting the spread of HIV saying once the centre receives a victim of defilement or rape case, they are quickly put on an emergency treatment called Post Exposure Prophylaxis, a drug that helps stop the HIV infection.