Activists call for more measures against domestic violence

In a public briefing held Sunday at Telecom House, activists rung a reminding bell that statistics of violence against women and children are still high and called upon government to increase measures against it.
L-R: Jaquelline Bakamurera, grace Bunyoye and Agnes Nyirandabaruta after the talk show at Telecom House. (Photo/ J Mbanda).
L-R: Jaquelline Bakamurera, grace Bunyoye and Agnes Nyirandabaruta after the talk show at Telecom House. (Photo/ J Mbanda).

In a public briefing held Sunday at Telecom House, activists rung a reminding bell that statistics of violence against women and children are still high and called upon government to increase measures against it.

The press briefing that included representatives of government, police and the civil society also called upon citizens to do their best to protect themselves against such evil.

According to Agnes Nyirandabaruta who is in charge of inspecting Courts and Tribunals in the country, this year between January and July, close to 600 cases of people seeking divorce appeared in twelve Provincial courts in the country.

“Most of their claims (for divorce) were related to violence against women,” she revealed, adding, “Most women go to court after their husbands stop caring for them and the family, take other women or consistently abuse them in different ways.”

Marie Immaculée Ingabire, a member of Haguruka, an association that fights for women and children’s rights added that courts and human rights activists face challenges while trying to render justice because many citizens don’t respect the law while starting families.

She explained that it is difficult to settle matters for women who sue their husbands while their marriages are not legalised or for children whose parents are not registered by government.

“Rwandans should learn to respect laws,” Ingabire advised. She urged Rwandans to legalize their marriages and register their children if they want to insure their lives from spousal abuse.

Activists called on government to increase its support to women and young girls during the process of finding proof for the act of rape or physical abuse where some victims don’t access free services in hospitals or free lawyers in courts. They also asked government to set up a fund to help the victims when they are in the process of asking for justice.

“Those who are injured in violence are not attended to [by doctors] for free...and most women and children are usually poor,” Ingabire said.

Speeding up the institution of a law that prevents and punishes violence meted on women and children is also another step that activists want government to take in order to uproot the problem.

“It is not something we need to keep insisting on. The law’s requirements were completed,” Nyirandabaruta said, explaining that the law should soon be out in the Official Gazette since both Parliament and Senate approved it.

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