Creative Centre for Community Mobilisation (Creccom) says legal clinics and community dialogue interventions need to be scaled up to curb gender-based violence (GBV) against adolescents and young women amid Covid-19 pandemic.
Chikwawa district Creccom field officer Novice Columbus said this on Monday in an interview.
She said they are working with courts, police, social welfare and health authorities to protect girls during this period.
Columbus has since appealed to parents to safeguard rights of the girl child.
“We are targeting 115 schools and 116 village development committees with HIV and Aids messages and promoting girl child education,” she said.
Columbus said the legal clinics are helping to unearth abuses girls are facing in the district.
In a separate interview, Chikwawa district youth friendly health services coordinator Patrick Baluwa urged adolescent girls to report cases of sexual abuse to relevant officials.
“Rape and defilement are evil acts as they cause physical injuries, trauma, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies,” he said.
Parents and some adolescent girls in the district have since welcomed the initiative.
Jane Ngayaye, a community member, said girls suffer in silence.
“But we will now report GBV cases to police for justice,” she said.
Schools in the country have remained closed since March 23 following the declaration of a National Disaster due to Covid-19.
The district has registered 28 cases of sexual abuse in six traditional authorities between January and June this year.
Defilement cases are reportedly rampant around Dyeratu, Nchalo, Chikwawa Boma, Livunzu, Bereu and Chapananga in the district.