Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe of Mulunguzi Magistrate’s Court in Zomba says the culture of silence among men is one of the issues fuelling gender-based violence (GBV) in the district.
The magistrate said this on Tuesday at Jali in the district during the launch of the district’s 16 Days of Activism Against GBV campaign.
He said in most of the rape and other GBV-related cases he handles at the court, a majority of men complain that their spouses refused them their conjugal rights; hence, resorted to rape or abusing their spouses.
“Gender-based violence is not for women only, but both; hence, denying a man his conjugal rights does more harm to him. This should be avoided to protect the innocent girls,” said Michongwe.
On his part, Zomba district social welfare officer Christopher Ndaona agreed with the magistrate and called on men to break this culture of silence.
“Men should come in the open for help,” he said.
Centre for Education, Promotion and Advancement of Rights of Adolescent Mothers programmes manager Malumbo Mtonga said the tendency is a drawback in the fight against GBV.
He said: “Married people ought to communicate. If the woman no longer enjoys her husband’s intimate company, she should tell him.
“If she expects him to do things in a certain way, she should say it and the same applies to the men. They should talk to their wives as marriage is meant to be enjoyed, physically, financially, mentally, emotionally and sexually.”