“We are planning to conduct sensitization meetings and awareness meetings on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) during this Coronavirus era as more children and women might be victims of GBV and child abuse,” said Thyolo District Social Welfare Officer, Robert Sawiche.
Sawiche said this when Creative Center for Community Mobilzation (CRECCOM) was conducting one of its sensitization meetings on Coronavirus at Traditional Authority Boyd in Thyolo district. Sawiche said that most women and children face child abuse issues when they are on holidays. “When school closes, many children face different forms of GBV in their home by their parents, relatives, friends and neighbors making GBV cases to increase in numbers,” said Sawiche.
CRECCOM Program Officer, Jenner Namoto, said that most children are mostly affected negatively during their end of term holidays. He also said that with the lockdown that has occurred in schools in Malawi and other nations, many students are most likely to be victims of GBV.
Agreeing with Namoto, Sawiche said that his office has received more cases on GBV during the period of lockdown in schools that has been implemented due to Coronavirus outbreak. “We have reported many cases on GBV during the period the schools have been on national lockdown and most of the cases are about forced marriages and unwanted pregnancies among young girls,” said Sawiche.
To ensure that GBV cases are resolved, Sawiche said that his office will work closely with community based organizations, faith-based organizations, Child Protection Officers, and Child protection Officers in the district.