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Girl-child lives matter!

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EDITOR — THE rise in cases of rape, especially of minors, has become a cause for concern. 

Every day we are waking up to these horrific stories. What are we becoming as a people? Is the girl-child still safe in our communities or the boy-child for that matter?

It is time we come together — security agencies and relevant ministries, community leaders, all citizens — to ensure zero tolerance to all forms of gender-based violence and sexual abuse against women and children.

The education sector now seems full of predators preying on our children. Teachers must be exemplary and be the first line of defence for our children.

Teachers should actually be the first people to notice changes in children as many are being abused in their homes.

Violence against women and girls seems to be a new normal with cases having increased at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it seems the depraved in our society have realised that they can get away with these heinous crimes.

Cases of sexual violence, rape and physical abuse are going unreported as some families and communities practice a culture of silence or indifference about these nasty incidents.

Child sexual abuse is occurring in homes and schools; it is time to act and put to an end to this violation of our precious children.

Children are neither physically nor emotionally ready to become wives and mothers, let us allow the children to enjoy their childhood.

People should really think hard and start families only when they are ready as separation of parents is also fuelling the abuse of minors who end up in the care of people who are not their biological mothers or fathers. 

To all girls out there, don’t suffer in silence, report such abuses to the police. You are not voiceless and help is readily available.

Tapiwa Nyashanu,

Harare.

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