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Domestic violence spiked in Zim during two-month lockdown - report

Most of Zimbabwe’s lockdown measures have now been lifted but the scale of what most women and children went through at the hands of those within their households is only now becoming clear.

Picture: 123rf.com

HARARE - A new report is being launched in Zimbabwe on Tuesday that shows there was a dramatic spike in domestic violence during the two-month hard lockdown between April and May.

Most of Zimbabwe’s lockdown measures have now been lifted but the scale of what most women and children went through at the hands of those within their households is only now becoming clear.

For many women and girls in Zimbabwe, where COVID-19 infections so far haven’t caused the fatalities many feared they would, it’s this violence that will have had the most damaging and lasting effects.

A study commissioned and funded by the UK that reviewed data from five NGOs - Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe, Adult Rape Clinic, Women and Law in Southern Africa, ROOT Africa, and Musasa Project - found that reports of physical violence had gone up by more than 38% during two months of lockdown.

Reports of emotional violence were up by 80.3%, while economic violence, which is sparked by household stresses or lower incomes, was up by 42.4%.

What’s made it worse is that survivors said that transport difficulties and police roadblocks made it harder to access the kind of services they would normally have, leaving them stuck in lockdown with their abusers.

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