Musasa is going to be spear heading during the commemorating the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence under the 2019 International Theme: “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!”. During this period the organisation is going to raise awareness on gender based violence as the organisation strive for zero tolerance against gender based violence.
Musasa notes with concern that the 2019 commemorations come at a time when sexual violence against women and girls particularly rape is on the increase and most of these cases are not being reported or are kept under carpet due to social norms, due to these cases occurring within family set up, due to lack of trust of the justice system and also due to fear of retaliation. It has been noted that survivors of sexual gender based violence who are differently abled find it hard to report their cases due to absence of accessibility features such as lack of ramps and other barriers such as at the service provider’s offices such as lack of personnel who are able communicate using sign language
In 2019 Musasa alone, Musasa have received up to 1233 cases of rape and sexual abuse from the organisation’s one stop centres and shelters all over Zimbabwe of which less than 50% were satisfactorily attended to. Other national statistics highlights that a woman is raped every hour of the day. These are deeply disturbing developments as the available statistics only reflect the reported cases against the background of possibly many more that go unreported.
Due to the multi-sectoral approach which is survivor centred many stakeholders have become more responsive to the situation being faced by women and girls, some gaps still remain, particularly when it comes to service provision. Sexual and rape abuse is mostly caused by harmful cultural practices especially in rural areas.
Musasa is continuing to reach out to the survivors of GBV through offering services such as psychosocial support, legal advice, shelter support, referrals to partner organisations such as clinics and the victim friendly unit and counselling through one stop centres and toll free number 08080074.
Women and girls cannot and should not continue to suffer in silence as survivors of sexual violence and rape. It is time to make the private suffering of all the survivors of sexual violence public, intensify the conversations and advocate for more punitive and deterrent laws against sexual violence especially rape. Musasa under the hash tag “MyBodyMySpace”, is saying enough is enough, man should respect woman’s bodies and is also breaking the silence by advising the general public to take action and reporting any form of gender based violence.
Musasa therefore invites Zimbabwe and the rest of the progressive world to join in this year’s 16 Days of commemoration under a campaign focused on identifying gaps in relation to rape and sexual abuse service provision and implementing recommendations by different stake holders. Musasa will this year be seeking to raise awareness on rape and sexual abuse, access to service by survivors especially the differently abled personnel and ending harmful cultural practices that expose women and girls to sexual abuse especially in rural areas We hope this will influence multi-stakeholder action leading to better laws and an improved service delivery environment.