Date r@pe cases alarmingly on the rise. Date r@pe is a form of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), that occurs when the victim and the perpetrator know each other, and in most cases, the two will be dating. Local organisations championing women and girl child rights have expressed concern over rising date r@pe cases that have resulted in more child marriages.
While Zimbabwe does not have official statistics on date r@pe, Shamwari yeMwanasikana executive director, Ekeniah Chifamba, said date r@pe has increased by 52 per cent from January to December this year compared to last year. She said:
We have dealt with such cases, and they are on the rise especially among adolescent girls and young women. Most girls do not understand what consent is, therefore when violated they do not realise it. These issues mostly come to light when they result in pregnancy.
We have also noted that most child marriages are a result of date r@pes. Most adolescents do not have information on how to protect their rights from being violated when they date.
So usually, they suffer in silence under the guise of being in love. When they get pregnant, they are forced to elope.
Between January 2021 and November 2021, we have received 35 cases of date r@pe. In 2020 we received 23 cases of date r@pe. National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi urged women and young girls to avoid meeting strangers in private places. Said Nyathi:
We have come across such incidents in our line of work over the years, and they have been exacerbated by social media. In most cases, individuals meet and date on social media platforms such as Facebook or WhatsApp, after some time they arrange physical meetings, which in most cases, the woman or girl is r@ped.
So, as the police, we implore women and girls not to go on dates in secluded areas with people who are strangers.
Source – Pindula News
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