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THERE is need for the Church to scale up its efforts in the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Religious Affairs and National Guidance Minister Godfridah Sumaili has said.

Reverend Sumaili said it was time the fight against the menace was taken to even churches.

She called on the clergy to take a stand and protect women and children by preaching about GBV issues more often in Church.

In an interview with the Daily Nation yesterday, Rev Sumaili expressed sadness that violent incidents against women and children have increased and reached unacceptable levels.

“It is very unfortunate that GBV cases are going up in a nation that is Christian founded on love and where we are promoting family values.

“I would like to urge the clergy to scale up their efforts towards GBV, let it be a message from the pulpit because most Zambians go to church,” Rev Sumaili said.

She lamented that many women and girls who suffered sexual abuse and other forms of violence were not getting justice because majority of cases were withdrawn.

“Many of the perpetrators of these forms of cruel crime against women and girls are walking freely among us because cases are withdrawn, we have to allow the law to take its cause, that is what is going to help us in the fight against GBV,” she said.

Rev Sumaili also expressed concern over the high cases of defilement cases.

She said defilement had the capacity to destroy the future of children especially the girl- child.

 “When such abuse happens, it dampens the spirit of girls and make it difficult for them to develop their full potential. We must all step up and protect the children,” she said.

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