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More men victims of spousal abuse

by Staff reporter
31 Jul 2021 at 05:47hrs | Views
A SURVEY has shown that spousal abuse cases are high in the country with men being the most affected. The predominant form of spousal abuse is emotional, economic and physical abuse.

This is contained in the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) Rural Livelihoods Assessment (ULA) 2021 covering provinces excluding Bulawayo and Harare.

The report shows that among couples, 6,01 percent of men have suffered emotionally while 5,7 percent of women have experienced the same.

The ZimVAC report shows that 3,8 percent of men have suffered economic abuse while 3,7 percent of married women are also affected by economic abuse. It further states that 2,8 percent of married men have suffered physical abuse and 2,6 percent of women have been subjected to physical abuse.

The report says sexual abuse cases are low among married couples where 1,2 percent of men reported being sexually abused while 1,5 of women suffered the same.

"There are high incidences of emotional abuse among spouses, 6,01 percent for males and 5,76 percent for females nationally. Generally, emotional abuse was high for both males and females while sexual abuse had the lowest reported incidents," reads the ZimVAC report.

The report is however, silent on what is causing emotional, physical and economic abuse among couples. Gender activists said various reasons may be contributing to spousal abuse. Local gender activist Ms Abigail Siziba said it was not surprising that most men were victims of economic abuse as they are expected to provide for their families.

"If you look at the statistics, they show that men are mostly being abused economically and emotionally and the major cause is poverty as most people lost their jobs due to lockdown. Culturally men are expected to be breadwinners. If there is not enough food in the house, men are to blame, leading to them being abused," said Ms Siziba.

She said as a result of the national lockdown the whole family might be spending a lot of time at home and the demand for food increases. This, Ms Siziba said, could also be a source of emotional and economic abuse, particularly for men. He said infidelity matters may also contribute to emotional abuse.

Mrs Siziba said it was however, encouraging that men who endure abuse are now speaking unlike in the past when they suffered in silence. Another gender activist Ms Lindiwe Ndebele said a lot of social pressures were to blame for the increasing cases of emotional and economic abuse.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has affected relationships because families have lost incomes after many breadwinners lost jobs. Gender-Based Violence cases (GBV) on both sides (men and women) are on the increase," said Ms Ndebele.

Men's Conference executive director Mr Makhosi Sibanda said if a man as the head of the family is not happy it means that the whole family will not be happy.

"In essence we are going to breed unhappy families because men are expected to be the head of the family. Being the head of the family means being able to do more for the family. Someone who can show love to his family, someone who can provide opportunities for his family and improve the lives of the family. So, if the men are unhappy it means we are going to have unhappy communities," said Mr Sibanda.

He said increase in abuse cases among married people could be as a result of spending more time together due to the lockdown. Enkundleni/ Padare Men's Forum programmes officer Mr Ziphongezipho Ndelebe said the impact of emotional abuse among couples could have a serious effect on victims.

Source - chroncile

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