One-stop-centre at Mpilo for GBV survivors

15 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
One-stop-centre at Mpilo for GBV survivors The One Stop GBV Centre under construction at Mpilo Hospital

The Chronicle

Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Senior Health Reporter
SURVIVORS of gender-based violence (GBV) in Bulawayo and surrounding provinces will now have access to a one-stop-centre facility, housed at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo, which will improve reportage of cases and enhance justice.

The unique facility, whose completion has been scheduled for this month end, being championed by the Government and its partners, will help survivors access legal and medical help as well as counselling.

Official estimates indicate that nearly 40 percent of the Zimbabwean women have experienced either physical or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.

It has also been reported that one in three of these women experienced physical or sexual violence before reaching the age of 18.

Forms of GBV include intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation, trafficking for sexual exploitation and female infanticide.

Girls and women may also experience GBV when they are deprived of nutrition and education.

In the past, GBV survivors were silenced due to costs associated with making reports, which gives perpetrators a way to continue abusing more.

The new facility is, thus, part of the 100 Day Cycle Programme by the Second Republic aimed at improving the lives of Zimbabweans.

Before its establishment, GBV survivors were being served from one of the wards within the hospital and not all services were available, which frustrated the victims.

Speaking during a tour of the building yesterday, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes, Dr Joram Gumbo, said GBV remains a major concern and barrier to the active participation of women in development.

Dr Joram Gumbo

“The continued perpetration of these acts of gender violence is an indictment on all of us and should propel us to intensify our efforts to end this social discomfort,” he said.

“The centre is strategically situated here at Mpilo Hospital because in most instances, the first port of call for survivors of gender-based violence is a health institution.

“The establishment of the centre was prompted by a GBV assessment exercise conducted in Mudzi, Mberengwa and Makoni districts. The assessment, coupled with a gender mapping exercise revealed glaring lack of coordination by GBV service providers and the failure to secure convictions on reported cases of domestic violence,” said Dr Gumbo.

He said the establishment of the one-stop-centre is an attempt to complement the efforts by the Government to prevent and respond to GBV.

Minister Gumbo tour Mpilo

“The centre will provide multi-disciplinary services to survivors including health, legal, counselling, psycho-social support and protection. The expectation is that this will lead to a better understanding of the realities of GBV and promote the establishment of a GBV free society,” added Dr Gumbo.

Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Judith Ncube, said the centre will bring relief to many survivors especially women who struggled to get the services before.

“We are grateful to the Government and our development partners who have brought this service for our people. In the past women would be raped and then told to visit five different offices incurring costs, which discouraged them from seeking justice,” she said.

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube

“Now with this centre we know they will be catered for even those outside Bulawayo, they will get everything they need.”

Zimbabwe Gender Commission regional manager, Mr Dalubuhle Sibanda, said the centre will go a long way in curbing GBV in communities, which continues to prevail despite efforts by different stakeholders.

“As a constitutional body we are happy that finally we have a one stop shop that will provide the general value chain for survivors after being violated,” he said.

“We know it will serve Bulawayo and the other gender issues. We are also seized with an injury on child marriages and we know this centre will cultivate the culture of reporting and opening up.

“We applaud the Government to ensure we fight GBV and this is the right step that has been taken to show that we respect the Constitution.” — @ thamamoe

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