MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
THE Victim Support Unit (VSU) has recorded an increase in the number of gender-based violence (GBV) cases from over 10,000 in the first and second quarter to 16,000 in the third quarter of 2017.
VSU national coordinator Collins Hikalinda said the number is expected to increase further at the end of the year and the reason has been attributed to various factors.
These factors could include awareness campaigns that have led to people reporting cases of abuse.
Mr Hikalinda, who was speaking in an interview, said it was a concern that GBV cases have since 2011 been increasing at an alarming rate.
He said GBV cases are expected to increase by end of this year as many cases are still being recorded.
“I am appealing to Government and other stakeholders to establish a study to determine the reasons for the increase in the cases. We assume that the numbers have increased due to sensitisation campaigns. What if cases are actually increasing? We really need to study this matter,” Mr Hikalinda said.
He said in 2011, VSU recorded 11,919 while in 2012 the number stood at 12,924. In 2013, the number recorded was 14,097 while 2014 saw 15,153 cases being recorded.
In 2015, 18,088 cases were recorded while in 2016 there was 18,540 cases.
He said the police are collaborating with various United Nations agencies in promoting programmes that are gender sensitive.
“More than 30 police officers were recently trained to acquaint them with the new laws and how they can apply them when handling GBV cases. It is important to note that sometimes police officers are also perpetrators and victims of GBV,” he said.