Gender Based Violence has ravaged the world since time immemorial and remains a cause of many deaths over the years either by suicide or “accident”. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reports that about 1 in 3 women aged 15 to 49 have experienced either physical violence, sexual violence, or emotional violence, thereby increasing the need to curb gender-based violence as well as school violence and bullying which have been on the rise in the past decade.
Chiredzi District in Zimbabwe is no exception to rising cases of gender-based violence in schools, pubs and even at the local bus terminus. Residents witness alarming rates of physical violence mainly towards women as they are still perceived to be “below” men. The violence extends even to schools in the form of school violence and bullying where students physically, verbally, and emotionally abuse each other regardless of sex.
Chiredzi residents have raised concern and yearn for assistance from civil society amongst other organizations with expertise to educate the local people on what Gender Based Violence is and the effects it has. Cases of bullying have been on the rise which are resulting in several suicidal cases of school going children in Zimbabwe. There is a notable increase in the number of suicide cases resulting from school violence and bullying with at least one case of suicide of school children every month. These incidents have stirred conversations on bullying, mental health and drug and substance abuse.