The Centre for Conflict Management and Women Development Affairs (CECOWDA) in conjunction with Peoples Federation for National Peace and Development (PEFENAP) completed a small survey in September 2009.
CECOWDA conducted a small survey and worked with the Victim Support Units of the Malawi Police service to highlight cases of armed domestic violence. Due to limited resources they were only able to collect data from the southern region of Malawi.
They found that domestic violence levels are very high. In a series of small surveys they found that an average of 2 women out of 10 reported being intimidated or threatened at gunpoint. Others reported being victimised by armed robbers, and explained how it is usual, during armed robbery, for the armed men to rape women and girls.
In Malawi there is an upsurge in criminal activities involving firearms. The weapons used include AK 47 rifles, 0.303 rifles, and assorted types of pistols. Sources include theft from security companies and the police, illegal importation of firearms, or illegal possession of firearms through some unethical police officers.
Both CECOWDA and PEFENAP launched the campaign in Blantyre on 21 September 2009, International Day of Peace. CECOWDA involved its community based structures to come up with role plays that depict peace and domestic violence issues.
In her remarks the Executive Director for CECOWDA Caroline Mvalo said ‘The existence of illegal firearms contributes to the creation of violent communities thereby enhancing the development of attitudes that are a threat to human life. In line with this year’s International Peace Day theme we must disarm."