Over 900 young girls below the age of 18 are among 2 496 women who were raped during the last half of 2020.
Some 900 young girls below the age of 18 were raped in the last quarter of 2020 alone, compared to 836 cases reported during the same period in 2019.
This was revealed Thursday by the Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises, Sithembiso Nyoni.
Nyoni said this while presenting a ministerial statement on the level of public service delivery related to sexual and gender-based violence in the COVID-19 pandemic in Parliament.
She further said the police Victim Friendly Unit received 1 222 cases of rape in the third quarter of 2020 and 1 274 cases countrywide in the fourth quarter. Said Nyoni:
We acknowledge that this is a time of great anxiety, uncertainty and stress for many as normal life routines are changed.
Women and girls who constitute the greater percentage of GBV survivors find themselves trapped in homes with abusive husbands, fathers, brothers and family members with limited access to protection and support services.
… The community has to know that it is criminal to withhold such information as well as failure to report abuse and rape of minors.
Nyoni bemoaned a rise in cases of teenage pregnancies, with a total of 4 959 teen pregnancies as well as 1 774 child marriages recorded between January to 5 February 2021.