Ministry Of Gender Speaks On the Increase of Defilement Cases In Malawi

 Defilement cases have recently become the order of the day as the media keeps being flooded with such stories.

Speaking to Malawi News Agency on the same, Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Lucy Bandazi, said her Ministry was doing all it could to curb and deal with the malpractice.

Bandazi said the Ministry of Gender has staff whose main role was to protect children such as Child Protection Workers and that it also has other structures like One Stop Centers and Community Victim Support Units across the country where people can report cases of defilement.

“The Ministry in collaboration with UNICEF just recently conducted the Violence Against Children Study which showed patterns of violence in the country.

gender minister

“The Study enabled government to make informed interventions on how to deal with the problem.

Communities have also been sensitized to report the cases to the right authorities. For instance, Traditional Leaders have been engaged and informed that defilement cases are to be handled by the Police or One Stop Centers,” said Bandazi.

Asked if the Ministry was satisfied with the sentence that the courts mete out to perpetrators, Bandazi said her Ministry trusts the court system but it was aware that there were instances where the public was not satisfied with the sentences.

She added the Ministry was aware that there are some factors that lead to lenient sentencing which are beyond the control of courts, such as the loss of evidence.

“The Ministry is therefore intensifying awareness on what the public need to do when defilement occurs so as to preserve evidence such as not bathing the child before going to the police.

TheMinistry will also continue to work with the Police to ensure that the right charges are placed on the perpetrators,” explained Bandazi.

The Public Relations Officer said children are affected a lot when they are defiled such as physically which require medical attention, and trauma whose psychological wounds take time to heal.

Bandazi continued to say that children who have been defiled lose trust in the people of opposite sex and this may lead to unwarranted aggression to members of the opposite sex and that they are exposed to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

She was then quick to point out that there were parents and guardians who at times shield perpetrators of defilement because they were relations or because they had been bribed noting that this breaks the trust those children had in them which may lead to hostility in future.

“Parents need to be aware that it is an offence to be party to blocking justice. They need to be aware that shielding perpetrators is an offence that is punishable by law.

“Defilement trends in the country are worrisome because most perpetrators are the very same people who are supposed to protect the children.

“If the trend continues at the same rate, children’s trust in their parents and guardians will erode and the result will be a generation of children who will grow up and not find the need to take care of their parents when they age,” said Bandazi.

Source: allafrica.com

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