Say no to abuse

Does anyone keep threatening to beat the living daylights out of you? Do you keep cowering and running at the sight of them? Does anyone inflict physical pain or mental torture on you? Do you respond with fear and silence?

Does anyone keep threatening to beat the living daylights out of you? Do you keep cowering and running at the sight of them? Does anyone inflict physical pain or mental torture on you? Do you respond with fear and silence?

It’s time to put that to an end. It’s time to stand up to that person. If you didn’t know, now you know that article 15 of the Rwandan constitution clearly states: “Every person has the right to physical and mental integrity.”

Before we proceed, I would like to point out the fact that integrity has many synonyms such as honesty, honour, virtue... but in this case, we are referring to decency.

What does article 15 mean by ‘physical and mental integrity’, you ask? Well, it means and I quote: “No person shall be subjected to torture, physical abuse or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

And if anyone says to you: “Those laws don’t apply here,” refer them to paragraph five of the National Integrated Child Rights Policy (NICRP) which says that physical abuse, including torture and cruelty against children and corporal punishment of children is prohibited in all settings.

Make sure you put emphasis on “all settings” by increasing your volume towards the end of the phrase. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you’re at home, within the community, at school, in a detention/remedial centre, at a police station or anywhere. No one has the right to tamper with you.

What will happen to the offenders? Of course, they will be penalised as per existing laws.

As is stated in paragraph five of the NICRP, the government will undertake measures to prevent physical abuse of children by raising awareness and prosecuting offenders.

The above laws also apply to anyone who might try to subject you to an experiment without your informed consent because in so doing, they are interfering with your mental consent.

That said, do not walk around provoking people and starting fights just because the law is on your side.

 

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