Rape cases are on the rise in the Midlands province especially in mining areas such as Shurugwi and Kwekwe, statistics compiled by the Police reveal.
The province has recorded an increase in sexual offences reported between adults and juveniles from 94 cases in 2017 to 124 in 2018 over the same period.
Statistics reflect that, cases against juveniles also increased from 273 to 281 in 2018 compared to last year.
This shows that there was a 3% increase in rape cases on adults and juveniles.
General research points out that, strangers prey on young and elderly women who stay alone at their homesteads or bushes searching for firewood.
Young girls and women are often violated by close relatives or people they know, sometimes by strangers.
These people take advantage of the trust bestowed upon them to abuse the vulnerable due to young age, mental illness or poverty.
The police are appealing to members of the public to ensure that, they report all cases of abuse at victim friendly unit.
Apart from ensuring that the criminals are taken to courts for prosecution the victims get closure thereby initiating a form of healing from trauma.
In most reported cases of sexual abuse, police are managing to account for the suspects and are brought to justice, however it is disheartening to note that some parents or relatives connive with rapists forcing child marriages which is against the law.
Assistant Inspector, Community Relations Liaison officer Ethel Mukwende said rape cases occur at any time of the day in both urban and rural areas.
“We are encouraging members of the community who are taking care of relatives that are minor or mentally handicapped regardless of gender to constantly supervise them by ensuring that they are safe and report all cases where there is suspicion of sexual violation to the police.”
“We continue to appeal to members of the public through crime awareness campaigns in schools, churches and public gatherings empowering them to make reports on cases of sexual abuse at any police station or make use of suggestion boxes nearer to them,” added Mukwende.