Authorities in Mulanje have decried the continued rise of defilement cases that are being perpetrated by stepfathers who are sleeping with their stepdaughters.
Community Policing Coordinator in the district Assistant Superintendent Beston Zawanda said during the community dialogue session which Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) conducted at Mimosa Area Development Committee (ADC) with community representatives from Group Village Headman Duswa.
Zawanda however told YFM that police are tirelessly working on the matter by engaging the communities on consequences of defiling the girls.
“We have been going in the villages and carry out sensitization meeting on the negative effects of stepfathers sleeping stepdaughters.”
“We are also sensitising the youth especially during school outreach as we go and inform young people to report to police any cases of gender-based violence they may encounter in their respective homes,” stressed Zawanda.
According to Zawanda, the trend is contributing to the increase of unwanted pregnancies and Sexual Transmitted Infections among the adolescent girls.
“We have lot of girls who have been defiled are being carried out by their stepfathers, and we have been registering such pregnancies whereby the stepfathers are answerable,” said Zawanda.
Meanwhile Village Headman Bango said people under his chieftainship are able to call and report various issues ranging from GBV, rape, and drug and substance to YONECO.
“There are some cases that the villagers fail to directly report to duty bearers, but they are open sharing the same with YONECO through the Tithandizane Helpline toll free numbers which is lessening the burden of us working on these issues of concern,” said VH Bango.
The five-year project is being implemented with financial support from Global Fund as YONECO partnered with Christian Aid to implement the Project.
YONECO is implementing Comprehensive Action for Adolescents Girls and Young Women (AGYW) project in partnership with Christian Aid with financial support from Global Fund.