Orphaned at a young age, Prisca dropped out of school due to a lack of sponsorship and is currently living with her husband and 8months old baby girl in Misisi compound. Misisi is a heavy density area in Lusaka with alarming rates of crime and poverty.
On the 6th of December 2012, Prisca*, aged 20, went to Kamwala clinic with a gash slightly above her right eye, and her eye covered in blood. With a baby strapped on her back, Prisca narrated in between sobs, that her husband came home the previous night around mid- night with his friend and demanded for food.
After telling him that there was no food in the home because he had not provided any, he started beating her mercilessly, and hit her right above her eye with a metal rod.
Prisca is just one of many young women in Zambia who are experiencing spousal abuse.
Despite there being so many initiatives to reduce gender based violence, gender based violence cases in Zambian communities are increasing by the day.
Yet, in spite of the overwhelmingly negative impact of violence against women on individuals and societies, violence against women and girls is often sanctified by customs and reinforced by institutions that limit women‘s rights, their decision-making power, and their recourse to protection from violence. As such, violence against women is both an outcome and an expression of women‘s subordinate status in relation to men.
I have discovered that some women are taught that when a man hits them, it is a sign of the man’s love for them, and women are discouraged from reporting spousal abuse.
According to the Zambia National Action Plan on Gender Based Violence, at least one in every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced in to sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime.
The public health repercussions of this violence are colossal, and violence further drains a country‘s resources and handicaps women‘s ability to contribute to social and economic progress.
As a young women’s rights activists who has been in the midst of victims of gender based violence, I go with the slogan: “My hands for the good of others. I refuse to abuse!”By Chipasha Mwansa- Generation Alive Member.