Zomba Police said it will continue engaging the public to report Gender Based Violence (GBV) to the law enforcers as the district registered an increase in the violence per a quarterly comparative statistics of the year 2020 and 2021.

Zomba Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Sub Inspector, Patricia Sipiliano said in an interview on Sunday that the district has registered 274 GBV cases from January to April, 2021 showing an increase from the last year’s 200 cases.

She said despite an increase in GBV per the quarterly report, police would continue engaging the public through awareness on GBV.

The PRO added that the public should see the benefit of reporting the GBV cases, a move she believe would contribute to reduction of the GBV cases before the year ends.

Sipilano attributed the increase to various social ills which the police and other sectors would deal with in collaboration with community level structure and leadership.

“Due to the awareness campaign by the community policing sector people are now more aware of where to report if they’re victims of GBV,” she said, expressing hope that cases in GBV would drop due to continued police public engagement.

Sipilano observed that people in the district are fully aware of their rights and the benefits of reporting on GBV to relevant authorities rather than remaining silent.

“What is more impressing is that men are now coming forward to report violence they face in their homes than was the case in the past where they could suffer in silence,” she added.

The PRO observed that it was tough to get information about GBV from women because most of them were afraid to report their husbands for fear of losing the family’s only breadwinner.

“Husbands too were shy to report their wives and sometimes they fail to report because they did not know they were being victimized,’’ she added while calling for collaboration among  sectors to address the GBV she said has physical and psychological effects on victims.

Zomba District Council, Gender Officer, Ruperth Kansendelo said the council has planned number of activities including public awareness on the need to prevent and report GBV cases to law enforcing agencies and sectors that look into people’s welfare.

“People should be aware on how to prevent GBV and where to report such cases.” she said, hopping that public awareness has chances to reduce GBV cases.

Some of the violence that people face every day includes physical assaults, sexual related abuses such as rape, defilement, incest, forced marriage, child negligence.

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