The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services has taken over the welfare of the 13 survivors of abduction following the completion of their medical examinations.
Minister of Community Development and Social Services Doreen Mwamba, said the ministry through the department of social welfare has provided a Place of Safety as mandated in the provisions of the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act No.1 of 2011 and Anti- Human Trafficking Act No. 11 of 2008.
Ms Mwamba noted that the young ladies are currently in good spirit after undergoing medical checkups to ascertain their health statuses and establish the extent of their sexual exploitation and abuse.
She, however, stated that the traumatic experience of the abductions caused huge psychological effects on the mental health of the survivors adding that there is need to subject the young ladies to a trauma and psychosocial therapy in a Place of Safety as part of the healing process.
“The Case Management processes which will be carried out by the social workers from the Ministry alongside other professional psychologists from Chainama Hospital, will focus on psychological wellness and general welfare on case-by-case basis,” she explained.
In a press statement issued to the media today, Ms Mwamba said the families of the survivors have been informed of the planned interventions by government and has requested the families to give government more time to take care of the survivors before they are eventually reintegrated into their families.
“Those who travelled from other towns outside Lusaka to see their daughters will be provided with support by the Ministry through the Lusaka District Social Welfare Office until the survivors are discharged from the Place of Safety. The families will also undergo counselling to ensure that they are in good state of mind to provide care and support to their daughters,” she added.
Ms Mwamba disclosed that the ministry is working closely with the gender division as well as Non-Governmental Organisations to ensure that all supplies are provided to the survivors in order to safeguard their stay in the Place of Safety.
She noted that criminal investigations by Zambia Police have continued to ensure the culprits are brought to book.
Ms Mwamba also appealed to the media and the general public to desist from uploading publications about the identity or personal information of the survivors to avoid further victimization and traumatization of the young ladies.