Women brutalise men at Gender based violence hotspot

Bongani Ndlovu , Chronicle Reporter
IN Mzinyathini, Matabeleland South Province, men suffer gender-based violence (GBV) more than women who are the perpetrators.

According to the area’s Chief Gwebu, in the majority of cases that come to his court, men would mostly be at the receiving end.

In Zimbabwe spousal abuse is the most common form of GBV with women being the main victims.

Authorities are on record saying GBV cases rose during the Covid-19-induced lockdowns as men and women were literally locked down together.

The closure of industries and loss of jobs, it was noted, fuel friction within families.

This comes as Zimbabwe and the rest of the world are commemorating 16 Days of Activism against GBV which is marked from November 25 to December 10 annually. This year’s theme is “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”

In an interview on the sidelines of a site visit to Mzinyathini High School’s e-Learning Laboratory last week, Chief Gwebu said while men are not blameless, they are the ones being abused more.

He said he is dealing with numerous cases from his area.

“Women are the ones who are abusing men these days. Yes, there can be some cases by men, but not many. The ones I receive are about women abusing men.

Mostly what they do is that they marry into a certain family for some time and if she sees a better opportunity somewhere else, she leaves the husband,” said Chief Gwebu.

“The abuse comes prior to their separation when women provoke their husbands, beating them up or using verbal abuse in order to create chaos in the homes.

When the husband retaliates, she then goes to court, they share the property equally and then takes that property to her family home. Thereafter she does the same to the next man. It’s a worrying trend.”

The chief called for unity among community members as GBV was a blight on society.

The cases of men being abused could be higher as some choose to suffer in silence.

“ The problem is that not many men come forward with such cases so that we deal with them as community leaders. Those who come to us, we then reconcile or resolve their issues amicably and they peacefully go their separate ways.

Some we call their family members to try and solve their issues, because we want unity,” said Chief Gwebu.

“I lead by example. Even my wife, I have never laid a hand on her, unless I am caressing her, of course.

at is how things should be, people should love each other, all the days of their lives.” Chief Gwebu said although they try to find amicable solutions for cases, those who are fined tend not to pay the fines.

“ There are some villagers who don’t want to pay a er our court has put down a judgement.

They simply ignore and don’t want to pay the livestock or the fines for various offenses. Such people I normally take them to the magistrate’s court,” said Chief Gwebu.

Experts say although GBV is pervasive in all settings, Covid-19 disrupted existing protective structures and created multiple circumstances that led to various forms of violence, abuse, and exploitation.

In spite of increased global awareness of the need to address GBV amid the Covid19 pandemic, its prevalence was difficult to determine, in light of a large number of cases that went unreported, as well as the limited resources that were in place for gathering this type of evidence in emergency contexts. – Follow on Twitter @bonganinkunzi

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