The Zambia Police Service has recorded an increase in the number of Gender Based Violence and child defilement cases in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017.

In a statement yesterday, police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo stated that Lusaka Province recorded the highest number of child defilement cases with 307 followed by Central Province which recorded 76 cases while Eastern Province with 73 cases and Southern Province reportedly had 58 cases.

“In the first quarter of 2018, there were 5,940 cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) reported countrywide compared to 5,464 cases recorded during the first period in 2017, translating to 0.8% increase. A total of 645 cases of Child defilement were recorded representing 10.9% of the reported cases out of which 642 cases were against girls while 03 cases were against boys compared to 2017 where 627 cases were recorded indicating an increase by 18 cases or 2.8%. Lusaka Province recorded the highest number of child defilement cases with 307, Central Province recorded 76 cases followed by Eastern Province with 73 cases, Southern Province had 58 cases and Copperbelt Province recorded 42 cases. Other Provinces are Luapula with 27 cases, Muchinga, 20, Northern, 15, Western, 15 while North Western Province had 11 cases of child defilement. The country also recorded 31 cases of indecent Assault of which 20 were female adult victims and 11 were girl victims,” she said.

Katongo however said Police recorded a 12.5% decrease in the number of GBV murder related cases countrywide compared to 2017.

“21 GBV related murder cases were recorded countrywide out of which 12 were female adult victims, 06 male adult victims, 01 girl and 02 boys compared to 2017 during the same period where 24 GBV related murder cases were recorded translating to a reduction by 3 cases or 12.5% decrease. 1,993 cases of Assault OABH were recorded countrywide during the period under review representing 33.6% of the reported cases compared to 1,783 cases recorded the same period in 2017. This year, 1,672 were Female victims against 321 males. Central Province recorded the highest number of Assault OABH cases with 531 or 26.6% followed by Lusaka Province which recorded 377 cases translating to 18.6% and Copperbelt had 291 representing 14.6% of Assault OAHB cases reported. Other Provinces are; Eastern with 216 cases, North Western 129 cases, Western, 120 cases, Muchinga, 118 cases, Luapula, 38 cases while Northern Province had the lowest with 24 cases,” stated Katongo.

“Other cases are Failing to Provide for Necessaries of life at 815 cases and Neglecting to Provide for Necessaries were 137 cases. Out of 5,940 GBV cases reported countrywide, 760 cases were taken to court resulting in 109 convictions, 30 acquittals, 69 withdraws and 552 are still pending in various courts of law around the country, 2,748 cases were withdrawn at Police Stations while 2,432 are still under investigations. There are still a lot of cases being withdrawn at Police Stations and Courts which could be a contributing factor to the rise in GBV cases as perpetrators are left to go unpunished. On the other hand, the rise could be attributed to many interventions put up by the Police and other stakeholders in combating the vice.”