At least 30 female victims of abuse and violence have been accommodated at the gender-based violence shelter in Mashonaland West province since the beginning of the year.
The shelter, which is located in Makonde district, is an initiative of Government in partnership with Family Aids Caring Trust (FACT) and other stakeholders to provide a sanctuary for victims of abuse and violence while they wait for legal recourse.
Speaking at a Victim Friendly Unit’s stakeholders meeting in Chinhoyi recently, FACT Makonde Safe Shelter matron Mrs Sarah Mashingaidze applauded the collaboration between Government and other stakeholders.
“We want to thank the police, the courts and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development and the Judicial Service Commission for their effort in fighting GBV,” she said.
“In February we only provided shelter to four women, which is a small number compared to that of women experiencing gender based violence in the province, but due to these organisations we are seeing more GBV survivors coming in.”
Mrs Mashingaidze said the home had so far accommodated GBV victims from all corners of the province with the highest numbers coming from Hurungwe, Makonde and Zvimba districts.
The abuse, she said, ranged from physical, sexual and financial.
“Since March to date we have been having new people coming in, but we release those who will be having their matters finalised at the courts,” said Mrs Mashingaidze.
Worryingly, she said, 12 clients were accommodated at the shelter with six of them being new cases while two were returning clients who faced GBV.
“We have seen some people we have released coming back due to the same abuse,” she said.
GBV survivors who pass through the shelter receive economic and vocational training to equip them with skills to lead independent and dignified lives in future.