injure One Injure All
Zimbabwe has been characterised by a frightening increase in the number of attacks against women by their partners within the home, the one place assumed to be a safe haven for families. What scares our organisation the most is not just the increase in attacks, but the brutality that has been displayed within these crimes and the number of women whose lives have come to a painful end due to domestic violence. 2011, so far, has been a horrific year and as the papers carried one story after another, of women attacked with knives, axes, machetes, we got to a point where we had had enough of the talks and debates and decided to take it to the streets. A march against gender based violence was organised by Musasa, the organisation that I work for, in collaboration with the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe formed by local NGO,s advocating for women's rights.
What sparked the outrage was an attack on a young woman, by her husband, an official in the Attorney General of Zimbabwe's office. He beat her,burnt her buttocks and thighs with a hot iron, raped her six times and then proceeded to stuff salt and curry powder into her vagina. that, for us, did it! The pain and humilitiation that this young woman was subjected to, was the same pain and humiliation we felt as the women of Zimbabwe, we needed for the country to know that we would not just watch and weep in silence whilst even the people meant to uphold the law abused us. Thousands of women turned up on the day to march for our integrity. They came from all walks of life, from the workplace,local communities,churches and the general public. The men were there too in solidarity as we marched and danced. We sang songs saying that we had suffered enough! and were graced by the Minister of Gender, members of parliament and members of the police victim friendly unit.The march sparked a nationwide campaign to raise awareness on domestic violence amongst the various forms of media and stiffen the penalties for perpetrators of domestic violence. Our fight is far from over.
With each day that goes by we continue to challenge domestic violence and refuse to back down. Injure one of us, and you injure all of us!