CASES of gender based violence (GBV) involving Solwezi miners towards their spouses have reached alarming levels, says Young Women Christian Association’s (YWCA) GBV counselor Hope Sichone.
She said the one-stop GBV centre in Solwezi has continued to receive reports of GBV cases with the majority of perpetrators being miners.
Ms Sichone explained that the main causes of GBV in Solwezi were financial disputes and extra-marital affairs that end up in physical confrontation.
“We have been receiving a high number of GBV cases with the majority of the men who violate their spouses being miners,” she said.
Ms Sichone noted that most of the cases reported were assault, defilement, spouse battery and child neglect which were on the increase.
“Sadly most of these cases multiply during month-ends when miners are paid,” she said.
Ms Sichone disclosed that the centre has so far received 145 GBV cases since January while 22 cases have so far been recorded in June.
She however complained that most defilement cases were reported late, making it difficult for the centre to seek justice as evidence would have been destroyed.
“Besides reporting these cases late, some victims are reluctant to report GBV especially if it is a man that has been violated for fear of public ridicule.
“Others are generally afraid of sending their spouses to jail and a good number of women withdraw the cases from the police for fear of losing a marriage; the problem is that the withdrawn cases reccur and may end in a loss of life for some victims,” Ms Sichone said.
She explained that the association was carrying out various sensitization programmes because the majority of people within communities did not know that GBV was a punishable offence by law.
Ms Sichone noted that the majority of members of the public did not understand GBV in depth and where to report if abused.
The counsellor has called on the local police to quickly handle GBV cases in order for justice to be done.