Gender Based Violence Prevention and Response Program

Vana Bantwana

Gender Based Violence Prevention and Response Program

INearly half of Zimbabwean girls have experienced physical violence and one-third have faced sexual violence.[1]  In addition to the implications for young girls, gender based violence (GBV) has had a significant impact on Zimbabwe’s social and economic development.

Bantwana’s Gender Based Violence Prevention and Response Program supports local Zimbabwean organizations and governments to prevent and respond to GBV against adolescent girls.

Bantwana integrates GBV and sexual abuse prevention material into relevant curriculum and program activities for girls and boys clubs at secondary schools and community-based centers for out-of-school youth. Bantwana trains teachers in psychosocial support (PSS) and child rights so they can respond to GBV-related issues in school. Family clubs address the roots of GBV by engaging men in discussions about harmful cultural norms, such as child marriage and widow inheritance. The program uses radio broadcasts and SMS messaging to further spread awareness about gender equality and GBV.

Bantwana advocates for legal changes that allow certified nurses to become sexual assault nurse examiners, expanding survivors’ ability to access services despite Zimbabwe’s shortage of nurses. The project also supports GBV survivors with psychosocial and medical assistance. Children and their caregivers also receive legal representations, transport, food, and accommodation throughout the lengthy legal process.

Bantwana works closely with Zimbabwe’s Department of Child Welfare and Probation Services to establish community safe places for abused children and trains traditional leaders to guide GBV survivors to the justice systems. Bantwana will also develop community resources maps so that survivors and their families can find support services.

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[1] Violence Against Women, Baseline Study, Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender, and Community Development. 2013