Women Affairs Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni has called on men to actively take part in the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) saying it is now evident that they are also becoming victims of sexual abuse.
Addressing various stakeholders at the launch of the Gender Based Violence Information Portal in Harare today, Nyoni said to curb the scourge of GBV, men need to be involved.
“I am appealing to the nation to make use of the portal to support and report on gender based violence cases and to use the platform to contribute ideas to mitigating this scourge which is now spilling over from men to men rather than men to women.
“I am sure you saw the news item of this young man who was sexually abused, gang raped by five men, I think this has to stop because we can’t afford to destroy our nation. We need to protect both the girls and boys because violence leaves emotional scars for life,” said Nyoni.
The GBV Information Portal launched by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development and United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) will provide the public with information on various issues related to GBV.
Speaking at the launch, UNFPA Country Representative Esther Muia said a lot of people did not know who to contact or what to do after experiencing a form of violence, therefore the portal comes in handy acting as a resource for all including the general public.
“More GBV survivors and those at risk of GBV need to be aware of the different organizations in their midst and the support services available. The establishment of the Information Portal by the Women’s Affairs Ministry is a significant step towards addressing this.
“The Portal provides a comprehensive picture of the problem of GBV in Zimbabwe, the various forms it takes as well as respond to the needs of those affected,
“More importantly, it will also connect the general public to safety nets including shelter services, medical and counseling support and legal services available throughout the country,” said Muia.