Evangelical Association of Malawi has asked stakeholders in Karonga to work as a team to help gender-based violence (GBV) victims.
The development follows concerns that some stakeholders, including police, social welfare and gender officers are not found at one-stop centre at Karonga District Hospital to help GBV victims.
The association’s district coordinator Dumisani Nungu said this on Saturday at the end of a two-day training on how the stakeholders can respond to GBV cases.
He expressed concerned with the rising GBV cases in the district despite interventions by government and non-governmental organisations.
Said Nungu: “For instance, in Traditional Authority Mwakaboko young girls are being forced into early marriages.
“But when such cases are reported to police, the law enforcers just concentrate on the criminal part of it. Similarly, when they go to hospital, medical personnel just look at their part only.”
On his part, Karonga District Hospital one-stop centre focal person Davis Chilewani admitted that there is lack of coordination among key stakeholders in bringing holistic assistance to GBV victims.
“Sometimes when we receive a case at the hospital, you will find that other stakeholders such as police, gender and social welfare officers are not there. In so doing, it becomes difficult to assist the victims holistically,” he said.
However, Chelewani said they are working on the challenges and soon they will start assisting the GBV victims as it is supposed to be.
But Brenda Livason, a prosecutor at Karonga Police Station, said the police are too be busy to be available at the one stop centre.
“However, we will identify officers for that purpose,” she said.
The association conducted the training with financial support from the Norwegian Church Aid.