By SYLVESTER MWALE –
A GENDER-Based Violence Centre at Kabwe General Hospital says it has attended to more than 1,660 victims of GBV since January this year, including 315 children that have suffered sexual assaults and other gender-related vices.
The figures were released by A Safer Zambia (ASAZA), a one-stop centre attached to the hospital to specifically handle sexual and gender-based violence cases before they are referred to the health institution.
Hospital head of clinical care Alexander Kawimbe, who is also in charge of the centre, said in an interview that 1,346 adults and 315 children had suffered various forms of GBV and sought help at the centre.
Of the 1,346 adult victims, 212 were men while 106 out of the 209 children that had suffered the violence were boys.
He said the figures were independent of those given by the Zambia Police on two different occasions this year relating to GBV and child sexual abuse.
Dr Kawimbe called on victims of GBV to open up and report any form of abuse they are suffering from their spouses in order to address the problem.
He said the GBV centre at the hospital was receiving many victims although some of them were not always willing to admit that they had been abused or assaulted by their spouses.
“The majority of the survivors (of GBV) that we see here have actually suffered some form of sexual violence and by far over 90 percent are women and children. This is a daily thing – be it day or night – we still receive survivors of gender-based violence,” he said.
He added;“We are offering various services at our centre but first and foremost it’s the medical services that they need after being abused; many also require psycho-social counselling and legal processes because we have a police officer stationed there.”
Dr Kawimbe noted that victims and their families needed to be encouraged to report the abuse.
“Keeping quiet when someone is being abused in a relationship will not help to eradicate GBV,” he said.