Churches unites to curb Gender Based Violence
By Tarisai Mudahondo
Churches across the nation unified and mobilized to become an army to end Gender Based Violence (GBV) and conducted a Speak Out Campaign, which was held recently at Roman Catholic Cathedral, in Harare.
In an interview with this publication, ZCC Secretary General, Reverend Kenneth Mutata remarked that the church is a healing process for the abused.
“We stand in soliridarity with the objectives of the campaign to curb violence of women and girls. We have been silent enough, silence is cost and toxic it perpetuates gender based violence.
“Therefore we need to speak out as the church to promote awareness and make our churches a safe place for everyone.
“Women play a critical role in sustainable development. When they are educated and healthy, their families, communities and countries benefit. Yet, gender based violence undermines opportunities for women and denies them the ability to fully utilize their basic human rights”, Mutata explained.
Mutata highlighted that the power that the church has in repentance of people is the same way they want it to end violence in societies. He said, “The church needs to speak to societies and seed understanding than violence, HBV has become a permanent signature in our society and we stand to perpetuate peace”.
Speaking on the same occasion, Act Alliance Coordinator of Christian groups in Zimbabwe Sostina Takure said speak out campaign is aimed at protecting and saving lives.
“We are a group of people from different church group united to end violence, restore value of life and dignity of life regardless of doctrine differences. We cannot afford to be silent”, she said.
During the campaign a woman who identified herself as Madzimai Charity of Mufakose suburb has encouraged other women to speak out irregardless of who perpetuated the abuse. She said, “When abused speak out even it is a church member, report to Msasa project, the police to have justice. Abuse breeds bitterness and child abuse so we should end the circuit of GBV”.
Meanwhile, statistics shows that in Zimbabwe, about 1 in 3 women aged 15 – 49 years have experienced physical violence and about 1 in 4 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.