PADARE/Enkundleni/Men’s Forum on Gender Midlands chapter has expressed concern over under-reporting of rape cases within families, saying such occurrences were leaving victims traumatised.
BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
The chapter’s chairperson, Edson Kurebgaseka, said society should take up the fight to ensure that rape within families was reported to end the scourge.
“We have rampant cases of rape within families and yet many of these cases remain unreported,” he said on Thursday during a discussion on 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, held at the Gweru American Corner.
“There is a tendency to hide rape cases when it involves family perpetrators. We are saying, as the men’s forum on gender, whether the perpetrator is a father, uncle, brother or whatever relationship they have with the victims, that perpetrator should be reported (to the police).”
Kurebgaseka said the trauma faced by victims of rape within families was intense as they normally continued to live under the same roof or within the same family circles with the perpetrators.
He urged society, particularly men, to help champion a culture of opening up among rape victims who are sexually abused within family circles.
Kurebgaseka also said there were many cases of boys that were sodomised, but the cases also went unreported.
He said society should speak out against all forms of sexual abuse, adding that research on child sexual abuse has shown that in most cases, perpetrators are people who are known and trusted by the victim.
Zimbabwe has well-established legal and regulatory frameworks to protect children from child sexual abuse although over the years such cases have been on the increase.