GWERU: Gender-Based Violence (GBV) during COVID-19 has significantly contributed to mental disorders and suicidal behavior in many women the Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) has said.
In a recent address, ZPNU Secretary General, Douglas Chikobvu said the spike in psychological issues has been experienced not only in Zimbabwe but globally.
“Covid-19 has ravaged livelihoods globally. It has widened gaps and worsened disparities across the social strata. Among those worse affected are women who most of them rely on their male counterparts,” Chikobvu said.
He went on to blame the rise on inadequate social safety nets & poverty in Zimbabwe.
“GBV has escalated to unprecedented levels. Many women have nursed grievous body injuries and psychological trauma from some violent and militant male counterparts. So many negative outcomes like physical, psychological, mental, social, and economic impacts have been birthed as a result of COVID-19,” he added.
In order to curb and solve these issues, Chikobvu encouraged a collective responsibility of all citizens towards thwarting GBV.
“Going forward, resilient and sustainable solutions should be embraced to address GBV during times of epidemics through women empowerment initiatives, strengthening social safety nets, and powerful legislation to curtail GBV,” he further said.
Whispers Woman’s Organisations also reiterated to the submissions and said following GBV issues experienced by women during the subsequent lockdown, many have developed an inferiority ideology.
Representing the organization was Sibonokuhle Buhlungu who also said the effects of GBV have even seen a rise in suicidal cases in women.
“GBV during COVID-19 has led to the rise of depression cases in women and suicidal cases as most women have become more stressed and see no reason to live anymore. Sadly a home with a woman that experiences violence, in turn, damages the children who then fail to concentrate in schools and associate with other kids in society in a friendly manner,” said Ndlovhu.
Such revelations come as the world today commemorates suicide prevention day under the theme ‘Creating hope through action.’
Meanwhile, National GBV Hotline run by Musasa Project recorded 764 reported cases of GBV, in contrast to 500-600 cases a month before COVID-19.
SAFE’s research of GBV data from the period of March and May 2020 discovered that intimate partner violence (IPV) was the most constantly reported form of GBV at 69.5%.
Stakeholders had also earlier highlighted late last year that victims of GBV had fallen in even harder times as they failed to access help centers.