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SAFE Communities in Zimbabwe

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SAFE Communities aims to strengthen community level actions to (i) prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG) and increase uptake of services and (ii) increase capacity to use data and evidence in efforts to end extreme poverty and marginalisation.

Zimbabwe’s gender-based violence rates are among the highest of any country. 43% of women aged 15-49 in Zimbabwe have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. Intimate partner violence remains one of the most prevalent forms. The protracted economic and food crisis has further exacerbated VAWG – with reports of increasing patterns of sexual exploitation and abuse as women and girls try to access essential goods and services. COVID-19 brings compounded risks – with evidence from other epidemics globally showing a spike in intimate partner violence (IPV) in part due to increased household stresses.

SDDirect provides overall technical leadership and is guiding the design of the prevention and response intervention packages building from the global evidence base and adapting them to the Zimbabwean context. The community-level interventions are designed to contribute to the GBV prevention field in Zimbabwe and globally, increasing knowledge on effective programming for different target groups in different settings, and focusing on interventions that can be taken to scale in complex settings.