By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Men and women in the rural areas are opening up with their issues in fighting against gender based violence.This has been in contrast to men and women in urban areas a study has reveled.
This shows that those in the rural are willing to come open about GBV as compared to those in the urban areas. There are most cases in the urban but they end up going cold.
Reports from the Legal Resource Foundation have recorded 23 male victims and 78 female victims in the urban areas whilst 84 male victims and 177 female victims have come in the open in the rural areas as stated by the LRF Senior Programs Lawyer, Sharon Moffat.
More clients are in the rural setting.
“We have more clients in the rural setting than in the urban setting and females are more dominant than the males in both scenarios. We have women in the urban areas that come forward but they just come once and we end up failing to do a follow up on them hence we are not able to take the issue further to the courts as the complainant goes for good,” she said.
She said the legal educating they are doing is helping the rural community.
“We are leading the legal education program in the rural areas and this explains the increase in the trend of both women and men coming forward. It also shows that women in the rural areas are willing to fight against GBV than those in the urban areas in cases we have received,” said Moffat.
Moffat said the women in the rural areas are now making a living thus empowering themselves.
“In the urban centers, male counterparts are mostly the breadwinners and this is hindering the females from coming forward and report against GBV whilst those in the rural areas are now empowering themselves through different programs being done and trying to be self sustainable hence the other reason why they are coming forward because they have another life besides being dependent on their partners, they are now able to balance their lives,” she said.
Moffat said no district is dominant when it comes to issues of GBV, but it depends with the period of time, they interchange and most cases are driven by economic problems and extra marital affairs.
Divorce cases in the province too are also on the rise, the trend is increasing too and women are the ones who are coming forward to file for divorce.