THE United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has launched the One Stop center for survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Chinhoyi in an effort to improve access to services for survivors of Gender Based Violence
By Michael Gwarisa
The GBV One-stop centre is part of the Zero Tolerance for GBV 365 National programme and has been birthed from a partnership between the UNFPA, the governments of Britain, Ireland, Sweden and the European Unione (EU) through support from the ministry of Gender and Community development.
Speaking at the launch, UNFPA country repre4sentative, Dr Esther Muia said Gender Based Violence remains a huge problem in the Country as evidenced by the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey for 2015 which confirms that violence against women and girls was still high.
At least 1 in every 3 women aged 15-49 having experienced physical violence since the age of 15 & 27% percent of women 15-49 have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives. Sexual violence is a grave violation of human rights, particularly the right to dignity, bodily integrity and personal security that everyone is entitled to, and that is protected under the Constitution of Zimbabwe and many international agreements that Zimbabwe is party to.
“UNFPA acknowledges the efforts of various stakeholders to respond to the problem by providing timely access to health services for survivors of sexual violence. The Government of Zimbabwe is leading efforts to prevent and respond to GBV in the country. The government is supported by key specialized CSOs under relevant statutes,” said Dr Muia.
She added that ensuring availability, accessibility and appropriate response to GBV was essential and the UNFPA has supported service provision to survivors by ensuring service providers have the right capacity to deliver multi sectoral services in a sustainable manner.
“The One Stop Centre model represents a promising model for providing comprehensive care for survivors by providing direct services which focus primarily on medical services, psycho-social services, legal and counseling services under one roof. Very often, police stations and hospitals do not provide an appropriate atmosphere to report GBV and in most communities, services are often located in different physical locations and thereby inhibiting rather than facilitating timely and efficient responses.
“The model is, therefore designed to reduce the number of institutions that a survivor must visit to receive basic support following an incidence of GBV.”
UNFPA has supported the set up of four One Stop Centres in Harare, Gweru, Gwanda and Rusape.
“It is pleasing to note that following the successful implementation of the model and lessons learnt from the pilot project, the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Small and Medium Enterprises Development in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, is scaling up the model to other Provinces.
“As UNFPA we remain committed to work with all stakeholders in providing quality services to survivors of GBV with the support from our funding partners. May I thank them for their support – the Governments of Britain, Ireland, Sweden and the European Union. May I also congratulate the Government of Zimbabwe for leading the efforts to end Gender Based Violence in the country. This has been, ably demonstrated here today through the launch of this One Stop Centre. May we continue to work together to create a safer environment for women and girls, a society free of violence and harm where they can contribute meaningfully to the development of the country and reach their full potential.”