Apostolic churches pledge to end child marriages

RESOLUTION BY THE BISHOPS BY APOSTOLIC COUNCIL CHURCHES IN ZIMBABWE

Following the Presentation by E.Chifamba & Mr. Hodzongi of Girl Child Network Zimbabwe  at  the Bishops` meeting of the Council of Apostolic Churches of Zimbabwe @ Chikwanha Hotel on 19th Feb. 2011,We write to express our commitment to joining in ending child abuse in all our churches

Here below is what we learnt

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PRESENTATION

FORMS OF ABUSE:

PHYSICAL ABUSE- causing physical injury-briuces, marks, burns,
whipping, human bite etc.

NEGLECT – inadequate provision of food, clothing, medical care,
shelter, lack of love etc.

EMOTIONAL – rejection, criticism, humiliation, isolation etc.

ECONOMIC – using children for vending, commercial sex work, child
labour such as waking the child around 4am to go and work in the
fields before releasing her to school when she is already tired and
unable to concentrate on studies at school, marrying off a girl child
etc.

SEXUAL ABUSE – touching of private parts, rape, forced marriages etc.

CULTURAL – using young girls to pay off or appease avenging spirits.
inheritances (chigaramapfihwa) after the death of a relative etc.

STATUTORY RAPE – sleeping with a person of 15 years of age who would
have consented to having sex. Its illegal under the zimbabwean law.

RAPE – forced sex. this one has no age limit.

POTENTIAL ABUSERS WERE NOTED AS:-
Parents, close family friends, relatives such as uncles, aunts,
neighbours, mentors, school teachers, church leaders, village leaders,
boyfriends, partners etc.

SOME OF THE CAUSES:
SDexual satisfaction, lust, revenge, traditional beliefs, myths that
sleeping with young girls cures AIDS, prosperity in business or
farming, being seduced, demonic influence etc.

RESOLUTION BY THE BISHOPS:
The Bishops unanimously resolved to partner with Girl Child and work
towards reducing incidences of child abuse across the country.
Churches will invite the Girl Child during their major annual
gatherings where they will be given platforms to speak on child abuse
as awareness progresses.

We appreciate your support.

Bishop Amos Seremani
Secretary General
Council of Apostolic Churches of Zimbabwe