LGBT Community Decries Gender Based Violence
By Ranganayi Zimunya
Gender based violence thrives in an environment of secrecy and low self-esteem especially on the part of victim, this is why the scourge cuts across all sexual orientations. Statistics show that victims of Gender Based violence are usually women and girls, 35% of women suffers physical violence, 14% sexual and 32% emotional violence.
However, gender based violence cases in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have gone unreported and as such a gray area when it comes to domestic violence and abuse. This came out on the sidelines of a dialogue hosted by Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), which focused on, “The role of youths in ending gender based violence”,
Speaking at the event Queen B Chihera a trans woman, said, “ we do face gender based violence but the cases are not reported because we fear victimization by the police, not just the police but society at large is not encompassing us.” This discrimination also leaves the LGBT community vulnerable when it comes to access to public health care facilities.
YALI is concerned with an increase of issues relating to gender based violence rampant amongst youth in Zimbabwe with Harare being the red zone based on the statistics released by the Ministry of Women Affairs.
Basing with the statistics youths from the ages of 18 to 35 are the most perpetrators and victims as well. “The latest trends on gender based violence comes with dating violence specifically amongst the young generation and the advent of technology leading to cyber-bullying.”
Samantha Sibanda, YALI chapter coordinator said they saw the need to invite youths from all walks of life to dialogue and pave way in ending gender based violence.
“As an organization with our partners we could not sit back watching this issue going unnoticed, we decided to train youths so that they can participate and play their role in ending gender based violence since they are the victims”.
Sally Ncube the National Coordinator of Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe insists gender based violence cuts across social, economic and political lives of people in Zimbabwe.