The Family Development Initiatives (FDI) and a Gender Activist has expressed concern on the defilement cases of over 500 recorded between May and August 2022 with the highest number of victims being girls.
Reacting to the Report issued by the Zambia Police Service on the defilement cases, FDI Team Leader Sheik Yusuf Ayami warned that defilement is a serious case that would see offenders serve 10 years or more once convicted.
The clergyman further stated that young children have the right to a safe, and protective environment.
“Those children who were victims of defilement suffer both physical and psychological trauma that has the potential to affect them for the rest of their lives,” Sheikh Ayami said.
He stated that it is disheartening to note that the same men that are supposed to protect and ensure the safety of the young vulnerable children are the ones violating their rights through sexual abuse.
He furthermore stated that, some family members are usually in the forefront pushing for the forgiveness of these defilement perpetrators.
The Clergyman has since called on society and the general public, both religious and traditional institutions in particular to step up efforts that will help prevent defilement cases and also ensure that appropriate action is taken against would-be offenders or perpetrators.
He has urged parents and guardians to put in place safeguarding measures that will protect vulnerable children each time they leave them in the custody of male relatives.
And a Gender Activist Beauty Katebe has expressed disappointment over the Police quarterly report that indicated a high number of child defilements in the country.
Ms Katebe noted that the number of defilement cases is alarming and it’s disheartening that girls are harmed at such a high rate.
In a statement made available to the media, Ms Katebe cited that parents should stop taking chances with their children.
“I echo Zambia Police Service sentiments that parents and guardians should not take chances whenever they leave their children in the care of relatives, as most perpetrators are related to the victims,” she stated
Ms Katebe has since called on various stakeholders to deliberately focus on sensitization programmes targeting families in Lusaka, Eastern and Central Provinces which recorded the highest number of defilement cases.
Meanwhile the Zambia Police Service Spokesperson Rae Hamoonga recently disclosed that Zambia recorded over 500 cases of defilement cases between May and August 2022 and which is a drop from 576 recorded in the second quarter of last year 2021, with Lusaka, Eastern and Central Provinces recording the highest number of defilement cases in the country.
Mr Hamoonga cited that the latest Zambia Police report has revealed that the country recorded 526 cases of child defilement from 7,589 cases of Gender Based Violence reported countrywide in the second quarter of 2022, in which 524 were girls and two were boys.
“Lusaka Province recorded the highest number of child defilement cases with 148 cases followed by Eastern Province with 86 cases, Central Province is third with 63 cases, Southern Province recorded 58 cases, while Copperbelt recorded 49 cases, North-Western Provinces recorded 37 cases and Muchinga Province recorded 27 cases, Northern Province recorded 22 cases, and the lowest being Luapula Province with 7 cases,” Mr Hamoonga noted
He added that collected data indicates that 1, 910 1,769 child victims were abused countrywide of which 1, 393 were girls while 517 were boys and 4,584 women and 1,095 men were also abused countrywide.
Mr Hamoonga revealed that during the period under review, the Victim Support Unit (VSU) counselled a total number of 6,882 persons of which 4,968 counselled were under criminal cases while 1,914 were counselled under the non-criminal offences.