Improve services to GBV victims - report

Despite government efforts to curb Gender Based violence (GBV), victims still decry the low services offered to them by One -Stop Centres (OSC). A report; Awareness of services provided to the victims of GBV in Rwanda, released last week by the Organisation of Women's Groups and Associations in the Great Lakes Region (Cocafem), reveals that satisfaction was relatively low among those who reported to legal aid structures and the OSC.

Despite government efforts to curb Gender Based violence (GBV), victims still decry the low services offered to them by One -Stop Centres (OSC).

A report; Awareness of services provided to the victims of GBV in Rwanda, released last week by the Organisation of Women’s Groups and Associations in the Great Lakes Region (Cocafem), reveals that satisfaction was relatively low among those who reported to legal aid structures and the OSC.

“Only 29.5 per cent were served on the very day they reported to the service point. The rest waited for days and weeks, while others were served after one month,” reads the report in part.

The report was compiled by Dr Aggee Shyaka Mugabe, Coordinator of Centre for Conflict Management (CCM) at the University of Rwanda.

The study conducted in 12 districts of the country showed that 534 of the 1,354 respondents didn’t know where to report in case of GBV.

“However, it should be noted that the level of satisfaction is quite high among those who reported to the police,” Shyaka said.

Family mediation ranked high by GBV victims with, 72.1 per cent satisfied with the services offered.

Rwanda has nine OSCs, leaving over 20 districts with no direct intervention in responding to and preventing GBV.

In bid to eradicate GBV, the first-Isange One-Stop Centre was established in July 2009 at Kacyiru Police Hospital.

The centre aimed at providing psychosocial, medical and legal services to adults and child survivors of GBV and child abuse.

To further enhance service delivery in responding to GBV, the ministries of Health, and that of Gender and Family Promotion and the national police in collaboration with other partners established One-Stop centres which are now integrated in district hospitals of Gicumbi, Rusizi, Ngoma, Nyagatare, Rubavu, Gakenke, Bugesera, Muhanga and Gasabo.

Godfrey Mugabo, programme manager of National Scale Up of One-Stop Centres, said the government is working hard to fill the gaps shown in the report, adding that plans are underway to distribute OSC in all district hospitals by 2017.

“Government projects to scale up OSC in all districts are ongoing. This will help improve public satisfaction and curb GBV,” Mugabo said.

The current projects include a $15 million funded by the World Bank, and $3.4 million projects funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

Emma Marie Bugingo, the vice chairperson, Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe, said educating citizens on the protection of evidence of crime was vital in holding GBV criminals accountable.

Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe is a national women organisation for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence. It is also aimed at elevating the status of women and the girl child in the country.

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