Domestic violence, rape worryingly high in Zambia
From ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – ZAMBIA must review and strengthen its laws in the wake of the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence, which are higher than the global average.
According to findings, globally, 35 percent of women are estimated to have experienced physical or sexual violence while in Zambia, nearly half (47 percent) of ever-married females aged between 15 and 49 report ever experiencing physical, sexual and emotional violence from their current or most recent partner.
In addition, 43 percent of all females experienced physical violence at least once since age 15, and 17 percent ever experienced sexual violence.
“The prevalence of violence against women and girls is very high,” said Stop Gender Based Violence (GBV), the rights group.
The organisation recommended that laws be reviewed, raising concern GBV laws such as GBV Act are implemented poorly.
Magistrates have reported the key challenge in prosecuting cases was the delay or withdrawal of cases due to non-appearance of witnesses, often medical doctors, or poor preparation of witnesses for trial.
Meanwhile, children are vulnerable to violence, especially sexual abuse.
It is reported 31 percent of girls and 30 percent of boys aged 13-15 in Zambia have been forced to have sex.
In another survey, 25 percent of women and 16 percent of men in Zambia reported they had intercourse before the legal age of 18 because they were threatened or forced.
Zambia has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. Nearly one-fifth (17 percent) of girls in Zambia age 15-19 are married, and 65 percent are married by age 20.
– CAJ News
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