THE Zambia National Men’s Network for Gender and Development has called on the government to establish separate correctional facilities where sex offenders would be segregated to punish and shame them.
National coordinator Nelson Banda said the facilities should be located in each provincial centre to operate alongside the Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) fast track courts.
Banda said ZNMNGD believed this would take the fight against SGBV to a new level.
“We feel the establishment of the separate sexual offenders correctional facilities [prisons] will offer focused and centralised punitive and rehabilitation of rapists and defilers as they continue to serve their jail sentences as well as offer a platform for the country to begin to fully understand the motivation for some men to commit such atrocities as even some biological fathers have committed the offence against their own children,” he said. “This, we hope, will send a strong message to would be sexual offenders that they risked being sent to a sexual offenders facility should they engage in SGBV. The separation of sexual offenders by placing them in an isolated facility will be another form of punishment to create shame on the part of the perpetrators. We feel the creation of separate sexual offences correctional facilities by the government will be one of the solutions to ending SGBV as it is an open secret that on a daily basis there are reports of defilement and rape cases reported in the media.”
He said those convicted of other related offences such as sexual harassment and indecent assault should be rehabilitated in the sexual offenders correctional facilities and their particulars recorded in a national sexual offence database so that authorities can keep an eye on them when released after serving their jail sentences as potential rapists and defilers.
He said the recent cases of gang rape of girls and women, including defenceless grandmothers, sodomy of boys and defilement of girls as young as three days old and in some cases where victims are brutally murdered by the perpetrators was devastating and therefore the country required to adopt new approaches in tackling SGBV.
Banda said according to the latest Zambia Police statistics, the country recorded more than 6,000 SGBV cases in the second quarter of this year.
He said this was a worrying situation, which needs to be tackled aggressively by authorities to protect defenceless women and girls from sexual predators.