More male than female victims of abuse in Matabeleland South Mr Ziphongezipho Ndebele

Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Matabeleland South Bureau Chief 

MORE men than women have reported abuse, that includes sexual violence, being perpetrated by their spouses in Matabeleland South, a Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVac) report has revealed.

Men in the province are also victims of physical, emotional and economic abuse.

According to the ZimVac 2022 Rural Livelihoods Assessment Matabeleland South Provincial report, 6,9 percent of males that were interviewed reported having experienced spousal emotional abuse while 4,1 percent of females reported having suffered emotional abuse. 

Speaking recently during a dissemination meeting, Food and Nutrition Council (FNC) programme officer Mr Alpha Ndlovu said 5,7 percent of males suffered economic abuse compared to 2,3 percent for females. 

“The incidence of sexual abuse within a marriage setup for males was 1,4 percent and 1,5 percent for females. The incidence of physical abuse was 2,8 percent for males and 2.0 percent for females. The incidence of emotional abuse was 6,9 for males and 4,1 percent for females. For economic abuse the incidence rate was 5,7 percent for males and 2,3 percent for females,” he said.

Mr Ndlovu added: “Emotional abuse accounted for most incidences under spousal violence, followed by economic abuse, physical abuse and lastly sexual abuse. Physical abuse was the highest form of gender-based violence within households in the province.”

He said emotional abuse was high for both males and females while sexual abuse had the lowest reported incidences. The incidence of emotional abuse among spouses was 6,9 percent for males and 4,1 percent for females.

Padare/ Enkundleni Men’s Forum gender office programmes officer, Mr Ziphongezipho Ndebele said more men were coming to report cases of spousal violence.

“We have cases where men are being abused sexually by their spouses. This abuse may come in the form of men that are being shamed by their wives and being told that they can’t perform well in bed. We had a case that we recorded in Gwanda where a woman brought another man home and told her husband straight up that she had done so as he wasn’t satisfying her in bed,” he said.

“Sexual violence also occurs when a man is coerced by his partner into having sexual intercourse. A man may not be in the mood to have sexual intercourse and if he refuses then the partner can start accusing him of infidelity coercing him to indulge to contain the situation.” 

He said men also suffer physical abuse where they may be assaulted by their partners. Mr Ndebele said men also suffer economic abuse as they are expected to provide for their families according to societal expectations. He said when a man is unable to provide this might result in tensions or insults within the household

Mr Ndebele said these forms of abuse culminate in emotional abuse.

“More men are coming forward to report cases thanks to awareness campaigns and safe spaces which have been created for men such as our organisation where they can open up and share their problems and experiences without being judged. There is a need for more of these spaces which can be easily accessible. Men now value sharing their problems and getting counselling as it helps them to heal,” he said.

Mr Ndebele said men should stop suffering in silence. He said there was also a need for women to be engaged to stop abusing their spouses. Mr Ndebele said society tends to overlook abuse perpetrated by women while it is also harmful. –@DubeMatutu

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