Musanze — local authorities from the provincial to village (midugudu) level have been advised to consider domestic violence as a security threat and a social economic menace which should be combated by all means.
This was reported during the northern province local authorities meeting with members of the security services. The national security services was represented by Sup. Morris Muligo of Rwanda National Police and Rwanda Defense Force was represented by Brig.Gen Jack Nziza.
On a wider level it was recommended that communities should be adequately sensitized about gender based violence and other forms of abuses as well as their consequences. Human rights violations and gender based violence link with poverty. cultural and religious principles were also discussed.
‘We cannot talk of combating gender based violence without addressing its links with poverty as a major factor and this requires economic empowerment through income generating projects at community level,’ Brig.Gen Jack Nziza said.
He said that the RDF has established anti-gender based violence focal points in 41 cells in the northern province which will be the nucleus for the formation of anti-gender based violence clubs.
In his presentation, Sup. Morris Muligo said that whereas Rwanda’s initiatives to combat gender based violence are commendable, the crimes linked to domestic violence are still high.
It was reported that 1650 defilement cases were recorded this year, while 403 cases of rape, 20 cases of women killed by men, and 76 cases of abortion were also reported which are all linked to Gender Based Violence.
In Rwanda, one woman out of five has experienced violence in their lives, statistics also indicate 65% of Rwandans who live below the poverty line are women and yet they produce 90% of the entire food production .
Domestic violence in the northern province is highly linked to the polygamous practices, and the culture of not reporting domestic crimes to the authorities.
Gicumbi, Nyamasheke, Nyagatare and Kimonyi were some of the districts reported to being with a high domestic crimes rate in the country.