Eastern Region Police Commissioner Martha Suwedi says gender-based violence (GBV) is a threat to the socio-economic development in the region.
The police commissioner made the sentiments on Wednesday at Chinamwali Trading Centre in Zomba during Eastern Region Police Women Network Basadi Operation under the theme Peaceful Homes, Peaceful Workplaces.
The operation, which started with a freedom march from Zomba Police College Camp to Chinamwali Trading Centre in readiness for the 16 days of activism from November 25 to December 10 was aimed at educating communities on the causes, signs, dangers, prevention and punishments meted out on GBV perpetrators.
Suwedi said in 2016, the region registered 1 772 GBV cases whereas in the same period this year, the case have increased to 2 189, representing a 19.04 jump.
At the same time, sexual offences have reduced by 2.4 percent whereas defilement cases have increased by 13.3 percent this year compared to the same period last year, according to the official.
“GBV delays development as time and resources used to treat the victims is the same money that could have been invested in various socio-economic developments,” said Suwedi.
A resident from Chinamwali Township, Mwandida Gandali, described the operation as crucial as it has enabled women and girls to know other forms of abuses.
“Men should also be able to report abusive female perpetrators to authorities to face the law if GBV is to be eradicated in the country,” she said.
Zomba civil society organisations chairperson Newton Sindo pledged that his network will champion GBV eradication in the district. n