With concerted efforts, Rwanda has successfully handled and addressed serious problems even to the smallest unit of the community.
Sure, when one talks about projects fighting Genocide ideology, even a layman from the rural area has heard of it and many are living it, not because the law has enforced it but because as good citizens, it’s now into them.
Various national projects reach the Provincial level through seminars. For real domestic violence was and has always been on the ground though it’s in most cases held as a personal and family issue.
So far, the Kibuye Police in the Western Province has found the most confusing and complicated cases under domestic violence.
To a bigger extent, domestic violence has affected the well being of families as well as economic development. As the saying goes, ‘charity begins at home,’ every thing turns a total mess if proper upbringing and friendliness are not considered serious in homes and families.
Perhaps this will explain why Kibuye town has more street children doing errand jobs in the market and nearby places.At least 6 out of ten women report being battered and beaten by their husbands on a daily basis.
Every now and then, files of such cases are being opened at the Bwishyura sector after which the police intervene. Safari Bagina, Bwishyura sector executive says women report being beaten by husbands and husbands report being tortured and denied rights to take care of their children in case of misunderstandings within the family.
Children have fallen victims to their parents’ misconduct. The sector executive says that many children are out of school and home as well because they get involved in parents issues and speak out. For the parent whom a child pinpoints turns against the child, victimises it and finally expels the child from the home.
The scars of domestic violence seem set to linger on in this community for several illicit acts have taken place either as means of revenge or in a bid to keep families intact. With a water drip on her left hand, bandages all over her face Mugeni Uwimana recalls the unlucky day when her co-wife Lucy severed her hand with a sharp knife.
She said it had been planned for a while by her husband together with the co-wife to bring such harm to her as well as her five months baby. Even in hospital, her husband still comes to insult her and brag about all the troubles she is going through. Mugeni says her husband even took away the baby’s milk bottles as he insulted her about keeping him in hospital.
Though it’s against the law for a man to marry two wives, many men have done it with impunity. A girl only identified Niyonsaba, 16 years of age and in primary two because his father’s wives kept her to do kitchen chores as her age mates were in school.
What alarms most is the fact that these innocent and vulnerable children are ever dreadful to report their parents or guardians. One would simply consider domestic violence as affecting women only.
Even men too have suffered torture by their wives. It’s not out of the ordinary to come across a man whose wife teamed up with others to torture and embarrass him publicly. The facts about domestic violence are too complicated for anyone to identify and see what can be done in order to fight it. As men are good at beating up their wives, women are better at starting up quarrels sometimes.
As civil marriages were initiated to create oneness in marriages, they have turned out sometimes to be sources of endless torture in homes. “If a man knows that you are now legally married yet it was not his intention, he will use all his might to make the home unfriendly for you so that you can leave without any charges against him,” said one Francine, a divorcee.
There will always be accusations and counter accusations of who is to blame for misunderstandings between husbands and wives.Ends