Adult Rape Clinic conducted a two-day Victim Friendly Unit officers training on the management of SGBV survivors targeting VFU officers in the Bulawayo Province. The objectives of the training were to change attitudes of VFU officers as service providers by increasing awareness of public perception of VFU and how it feeds into the barriers to reporting SGBV.
A total of 46 (17 males and 29 females) VFU officers were trained. 35 of the trained VFU officers are working in VFU department whilst 11 are front-line police officers. ARC and Musasa facilitated the training and other stakeholders such as ZWLA, department of Social Services, National Prosecution Authority were also invited to capacitate the trainees as their departments are key in providing comprehensive SGBV to survivors.
One of the trainees remarked “the training was in line and on the right direction, maybe more time can be awarded for these trainings”. The general consensus of the trainees was that the duration of the training may need to be revised and 3 days were possibly adequate as they had many questions which remained hanging.
The trainees also requested ARC to establish a clinic in Bulawayo. ARC explained that services were available at Mpilo hospital and also ARC had in previous years also trained PSI nurses at Bambanani New Start Centre. Due to the request, ARC decided to visit Bambanani New Start Centre. It was noted that SGBV traffic was low and SGBV service provision was now poor. PSI explained that the trained staff have since moved leaving a gap so there is a need for new capacity building.
The Bulawayo Province VFU officers also expressed their concerns with regards to the imminent issue of Vuzu parties that had sprung among the community’s adolescents and youth. The Vuzu parties are were also alluded to be one of the main causes of sexual assault cases amongst young people.
Superintendent Francis Mutema from the National VFU also mentioned during his presentation that
the percentage of rape by strangers was high in Bulawayo whilst rape by known persons is higher in Harare than other provinces.
ARC will be conducting various training workshops across all provinces in Zimbabwe as part of their mandate on the management of SGBV.
ARC Clinic Manager and Lead Trainer Rudo Mashingaidze commended the Bulawayo VFU for their commitment, passion and eagerness to learn which made the workshop highly engaging and progressive.