Statistics from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has indicated that defilement still tops Gender-Based Violence.
According to AIP Beline Mukamana, in charge of Police Gender Desk, domestic violence affects all walks of life in the Rwandan society.
“Cases we receive here are not from only one single group of people, there are the elite, rich, poor, from urban and rural, surprisingly the big number registered are from urban localities,” Mukamana said yesterday in an interview.
According to the 2009 statistics, her desk registered 1,570 cases of defilement followed by 297 cases of rape and 490 of physical torture.
Even in previous years, she said, defilement has persistently been on top of the GBV list that constitutes at least 25 different types of crimes in this category, and these, she said, include murder amongst couples.
“We have also cases where women do torture or even kill their spouses and vice versa,” Mukamana said, adding that 42.5% of cases of violence against women are connected to alcohol abuse.
She, however, pointed out that when statistics increase, it means that more people are now growing out of the stigma to report these crimes.
“We have a culture where many people don’t want to disclose domestic related crimes, where a woman may be facing torture and does not want to report her husband or a child is raped or defiled and relatives don’t want it to go public,” Mukamana noted.
45.6% of abused women choose not tell anybody while 45% of them do not trust community social workers and expect no help from them.
67.7% of Rwandan women agree with the statement that a good wife owes unconditional obedience to her husband while 7.8% of women think that conjugal problems are not to be discussed outside of the family.
These figures indicate that there was an increase in cases of defilement, rape and physical torture in 2007 compared to 2006, but the following years, these crimes decreased almost 50% on average.
Nyarugenge has continuously topped the country in registering more GBV crimes followed by Gasabo district, all in Kigali City.
The law No. 59/2008 of 10/9/2008 on prevention and punishment of Gender based violence has also been a driving force in preventing the crimes from happening.
However, the police have put in place various mechanisms to fight these crimes with the help of other institutions such as UNIFEM, UNICEF, and other government bodies.