By Commisioner of Police, Dr. Daniel Nyamwasa
Gender based violence (GBV) remains a widespread occurrence that spans centuries, that in the past it was almost expected and accepted. Its seriousness, effects and how communities respond and work towards its elimination varies from country to country.
In the old Rwanda, violence against women was rooted in the traditions that promoted patrilineal practices and therefore acts of depriving women of their right to inheritance, marriage without the girl’s consent, abducting the girl for marriage (Guterura) were a common practice and considered legal.
This type of violence against women was exacerbated during the 1994 Tutsi Genocide, where rape was used as a weapon of war.
According to the AVEGA Agahozo's 1999 survey on violence against women, the age bracket of the girls and women raped during the genocide range between two and fifty years of age and beyond.
During that time, rape committed by Rwandans against Rwandans affected more than 250,000 women in three months, from April to July 1994.