Rapists are preying on women with disabilities and getting away with it as police turn a blind eye on the atrocities, activists say.
Denias Mudzingwa, a visually impaired activist said the situation was deteriorating as the economy crumbled and government failed to provide grants to the disabled, making them desperate.
“If a woman is raped and they go to the police they wont get any help,” Mudzingwa said. “There is no mechanism for assisting people with disabilities within the police force. We have situations of people who have been raped but they are deaf and dumb. Those with eyes cannot communicate and in the end the police just ignore them. Some of the victims get infected with sexually transmitted infections but they can not explain their problems to the nurses.”
Mudzingwa, who is headmaster of Gwavachemai secondary school in Zvishavane said the abuses were widespread and amounted to extreme violence against women.
He blames government for relegating issues of people with disabilities to NGOs. He also blames society for stigmatising people with disabilities.
“The political crisis in Zimbabwe has affected people with disabilities more than any other person,” Mudzingwa said. “The government of Zimbabwe has neglected this grouping. It has assigned these people to NGOs.”
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