Zimbabwe

Population Size:

14,645,468 [1]

Number of People Experiencing Domestic Abuse Each Year:

78% of women who had experienced violence claimed it was at the hand of their husband or partner. [2]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of Domestic Abuse to the Economy Each Year:

No research.

Estimated % Change due to COVID-19:

The Musasa Project, a local NGO, says it has already documented at least 782 cases of abuse in just 13 days, compared to an average of 500 per month. [3]


Current law and policy:

Zimbabwe passed the Domestic Violence Act in February 2007. The Act recognises physical, emotional, sexual, economic and emotional abuse. It provides protection and relief to survivors. It establishes the duty of police officers in their response to a domestic abuse case, civil protection orders to prevent domestic abuse from happening where it is threatened or being repeated and an ‘Anti-Domestic Violence Council’ to facilitate cross-government working on this issue.


Domestic violence is illegal. It is punishable by a fine and a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. However, authorities generally consider it to be a private matter and prosecutions are rare. The Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey 2016 showed that the prevalence of gender-based violence stood at 47% among women. Abuse by a husband or partner is the most common form of gender-based violence and 35% of married women aged 15-49 reported having experienced spousal violence.


In 2016, the UN Human Rights Council expressed concern about the prevalence of violence, particularly domestic and sexual violence, against women in Zimbabwe. In 2017, the United States State Department Report stated that “despite the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act in 2006 that criminalised acts of domestic violence, domestic violence remained a serious problem, especially intimate partner violence perpetrated by men against women”. In response to this, the Zimbabwean government set up an Anti-Domestic Violence Council to ensure the successful implementation of the 2006 Act, as well launching its International Women’s Day. Measures have also taken by the Zimbabwean police, such as setting up Victim Friendly Units in every police station to handle rape cases and reports of violence against women. The government is also working on preventing, investigating and prosecuting the trafficking of women.


Frontline Services:

 

Sources


[1] https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/zimbabwe-population/

[2] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/zimbabwe-women-domestic-violence-election-gender-equality-rights-rape-mugabe-emmerson-a8539616.html

[3] https://www.rfi.fr/en/international/20200414-it-is-going-to-escalate-locked-down-zimbabwe-records-spike-in-gender-violence