ILIAMUPO Chipasha, the 25-year old gender – based violence (GBV) survivor who recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree at the University of Zambia (UNZA), yesterday broke down as she narrated how her former husband, who is 20 years older than her, abused her sexually, emotionally and physically.
Recounting the ordeal during the launch of the commemoration of 16 days of activism against GBV, Ms Chipasha said her former husband used to beat her almost every day. She said her parents could not rescue her from the abusive marriage because they failed to pay back the K300 her former husband paid as bride price.
“He would first beat me, then drag me to have sex with him. This was the most painful form of abuse I suffered at the hands of my husband. I have never been in an intimate relationship from the time I left him in 2010, and I don’t wish to have one. I’m scared, “ she said.
Ms Chipasha managed to complete her education despite having dropped out of school at the age of 15 to get married to a soldier in Kaoma. She completed her Grade 12 with 12 points, after which she went to UNZA, where she was awarded 100 percent bursary. Ms Chipasha graduated this year with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Education in Linguistics and African Languages with English.
And Minister of Gender Elizabeth Phiri said the testimony by Ms Chipasha is a clear indication that there is need to intensify sensitisation on the importance of ending child marriage and various forms of GBV.
“We have to increase places where GBV victims can go and report whenever they are abused. The few people who report when abused are those who live along the line of rail.” She said.
American Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote urged men who are in the habit of beating women to stop. “For those tough men who think they can beat women anthow, they should come and face me. You are cowards, leave the women alone, come and fight me.” Mr Foote said.
United Nations resident coordinator George Okutho said the traumatising experience which GBV survivors go through is so severe that most of them fail to recover from the abuse.
Source: Zambia Daily Mail, Vol 23 No. 283| Tuesday November 26, 2019