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Journal Article


Musiwa AS. J. Interpers. Violence 2018; 33(11): 1748-1777.


1 Family AIDS Caring Trust, Mutare, Zimbabwe.


(Copyright © 2018, SAGE Publishing)






The study intended to assess, based on the perceptions of Victim-Friendly Court (VFC) professionals in Marondera District in Zimbabwe, how the presence of the VFC and relevant child protection policy and legal frameworks has affected the management of Intrafamilial Child Sexual Abuse (ICSA) in Zimbabwe. Sem-istructured questionnaires were administered to 25 professionals from 13 VFC agencies in Marondera, while one-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 key informants who included five ICSA survivors and their respective five caregivers as well as five key community child protection committee members. All 40 participants were selected using purposive sampling. Data were analyzed manually using thematic analysis, descriptive analysis, and document analysis. The study showed that the VFC manages ICSA through prevention, protection, treatment, and support interventions, and that its mandate is guided by key child protection policy and legal frameworks, particularly the National Action Plan for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children and the Children's Act (Chapter 5:06). The presence of these mechanisms is perceived to have resulted in increased awareness of ICSA, realization of effective results, increased reporting of ICSA, and enhanced coordination among VFC agencies. However, the same frameworks are perceived to be fraught with gaps and inconsistencies, too prescriptive, incoherent with some key aspects of the National Constitution and international child rights standards, and poorly resourced for effective implementation. All this has negatively affected the management of ICSA. Therefore, the Government of Zimbabwe should consistently review these systems to make them responsive to the ever-evolving factors associated with ICSA. Also, alignment with the National Constitution, full domestication of global child rights instruments, and routine collection of better statistics for evidence-based policy- and decision-making, and for better monitoring of progress and evaluation of outcomes, are necessary for positive results. Non-governmental stakeholders too should chip in with human, technical, and financial resources to enhance effective management of the social problem.

Language: en


Zimbabwe; child abuse; prevention of child abuse; sexual abuse; treatment/intervention


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