LOCAL pro-women support and anti-violence group, Musasa Projects reports that Bulawayo led in terms of domestic violence cases reported at its offices spread across the country followed by Harare in 2019.
Presenting a paper on ‘Sexual and Gender Based Violence The Relationship with HIV’, Musasa Project legal officer Tinashe Chitunhu, said there was a huge link between sexual domestic violence and HIV/AIDS.
“As Musasa Project, we have four One Stop Centres, but that is not all we have, we also have shelters in and around the country,” Chitunhu journalists at a National AIDS Council (NAC) organised workshop in Kadoma Friday.
“When we are looking at Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Masvingo, for the month of January to March last year, Harare only had about 2 685 people who are coming to Musasa to report that ‘I am experiencing sex and gender based violence’.
“For Bulawayo, it was about 2 900 and small towns like Gweru you would get around 900 and Masvingo 250 cases.
“People don’t talk about it but in total last year (2019) by end of September, we were looking at 19 671 women who knocked at Musasa Project doors and said ‘I am experiencing some form of domestic violence’, it may be physical, economical or emotional. So that’s the extent of the violence that we are talking about.”
Chitunhu said these were some of the factors contributing to new HIV infections.
“As Musasa, we have been interacting with women, we have noted as an organisation the link between sexual and gender based violence and HIV,” she said.
“And it’s not only at Musasa but globally it has also been recognised that there is a link between sexual domestic violence and HIV.
“The thing is HIV is a risk and a cause of SGBV meaning if a woman reports that she has been found to be HIV positive, when she got to the clinic to register her pregnancy, this leads to domestic violence as the man will ask where did you get it.”