Rape cases of minor girls have risen alarmingly in Mashonaland Central province with between two and three rape cases reported on a daily basis for the past 12 months.
This was revealed by the Mashonaland Central Provincial Information Communication Technology Officer, Superintendent Sheila Tungadza during an International Women’s Day commemorations event in Bindura.
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Superintendent Tungadza was representing the Officer Commanding Police Mashonaland Central at the event. She said:
The issue that has been worrying us as the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is the rise in incidences where minors are being raped.
I don’t have statistics for Bindura off hand at the moment but for the whole of Mashonaland Central in general, we record two or three rape cases on a daily basis of minors and perpetrators who are in most cases relatives or neighbours.
At times, mothers leave their daughters in the hands of trusted male relatives going to church or going to buy wares for sale in neighbouring countries. The relatives end up abusing the little ones sexually.
I urge all here to leave our children in the care of trusted female relatives more than male relatives because what we are witnessing here is not a good picture.
Tungadza urged parents to establish relationships with their children so that it becomes easier for them to notice a behavioural change in case of sexual abuse. She said:
Fathers are raping their daughters to an extent whereby the girls are falling pregnant.
The mothers at times take time to witness these changes in their daughters and the abuse goes on for long.
Mothers and fathers, let us establish relationships with our children.
Let’s take time to listen to them every day after work and listen to their stories.
By creating an environment whereby children feel free to share with us anything, we stand a chance of noticing early if they would have been abused.
The children will also be free to tell us if anyone touches them and does anything inappropriate to them.
At times what makes children hide things from parents is that they fear getting beaten or scolded.
Let’s not create an environment whereby children fear us.