MBABANE: Sipho Dlamini the President for The Federation of Organisations of the Disabled in Eswatini ( FODSWA) an organisation that looks after the welfare of people living with disabilities says disabled people are the most affected when it comes to gender based violence.
Speaking during an interview with this publication on Wednesday the President said disabled people are affected thrice as much as able bodied citizens.
“Some disabled people are denied access to their kids by their able bodied spouses or partners, some are sexually violated by their close relatives. It’s even worse for the visually impaired since they can’t prove their cases in court. In court you need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were indeed sexually violated by that particular suspect, the challenge here is that the visually impaired only identify people by their scents or voices and that cannot stand as evidence in court. We need to enforce the disability Act in order to change the current situation”, said the FODSWA President.
Stukkie Motsa the founder of Stukkie Foundation, an organisation that deals with people living with albinism said people living with albinism are not treated like humans.
“People living with albinism are not treated like human beings, they are called different sorts of names and also denied employment opportunities. Women are also abused for giving birth to children with albinism, we are currently dealing with a case involving a certain man who denied paternity to a child who was born with albinism. We involved doctors and psychologists who explained the condition to him and he admitted to his ignorance”, she said.
When reached for comments by this publication, Nonhlanhla Dlamini the Director for the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) said as an organisation they have an on ongoing project in the Lubombo region that seeks to train health workers and law enforcement agencies on how to deal with people living with disabilities.
“Disabled people usually face challenges when reporting their cases of abuse, for example evidence from deaf victims of abuse can be lost in translation and this can greatly compromise their cases in court. One thorny issue is that government and Non-governmental Organisations (NGO’s) do not accommodate disabled people in the dissemination of information about Gender based violence. In the Lubombo region, we are moving towards producing some of the information in braille to accommodate the blind and we will also provide training for health workers and police officers”, said the SWAGAA Director.
Stuky Motsa of Stuky Foundation and FODSWA President Sipho Dlamini