The week-long anti-GBV and teenage pregnancy campaign, which is part of the ongoing Police Month, continued this Wednesday in Kayonza District where Rwanda National Police (RNP) and partners in justice, health and governance sectors provided psycho-trauma counseling services and testing of teen mothers and victims of violence, through GBV clinic.
The exercise conducted in Rwinkwavu Sector also involved screening of stunting and malnutrition among children, birth registration of children and receiving complaints related to gender based violence.
More than 1000 people including about 150 teen mothers, their parents and local residents participated in the one day exercise that also included general training on forms of GBV, consequences and the impact of speaking out and information sharing on the vices towards effective response and prevention.
The exercise was also in line with the national efforts against GBV, teenage pregnancy and stunting among children, which involves sensitization, supporting community-based approaches; improve the delivery of high-impact nutrition and health interventions among others.
Commissioner of Police (CP) Vianney Nshimiyimana, the Commandant of Police Training School (PTS) Gishari, while addressing residents of Rwinkwavu, observed that there is need to equip young women with the skills and capacities to make informed decisions about their health and rights.
He underscored the importance of engaging the community to change behaviours and challenge norms that allow gender-based violence and child marriages to persist.
The commandant reminded participants of the critical importance of the campaign and the need to speak-up, and urged parents to talk to their children against violence and to encourage them to speak out.
“We hope that through these measures, we can alleviate and prevent cases of violence against women and girls. People should be open; silence traps one in the cycle of abuse,” CP Nshimiyimana explained.
He underlined the commitment of Police and other security agencies to combat all forms of gender-based violence and commended the work of partners against the vices.
The mayor of Kayonza, Jean Claude Murenzi also urged women especially victims of gender-based violence to take courage and seek help to attain healing and justice.
Silence, the mayor said, hinders provision of justice and prosecuting perpetuators, and gives room for such criminal acts to persist.
“Speak up, do not be afraid or be ashamed to report because law enforcement authorities are here to provide any kind of assistance to punish the perpetrators and serve justice to any victims,” mayor Mugabo said.
He explained that government through initiatives such as the Isange one Stop Center provide legal, medical, and psychological assistance to victims of gender-based violence, and urged them to utilize such services.
The meeting was convened in the framework of the on-going ‘Police Month’ activities to raise community awareness against crimes as well as supporting vulnerable communities to cement the people-centered policing—community policing philosophy.