HUYE – It is something many women endure in silence: being battered by their spouses.
However, women in Rusatira sector, Huye District, Wednesday called upon local authorities to impose severe punitive measures against wife battering, as the Police embarked on the Gender Based Violence (GBV) week.
“My husband beats me every time he wants, he uses all ways possible to torture me, this includes being kicked around in the house and hitting me with any object he lays his hands on,” said a woman from Kimuna cell who preferred anonymity for fear of ridicule.
She pointed to her swollen face and a missing tooth as evidence of the torture she has had to endure. She said that efforts to have her husband prosecuted have been unsuccessful.
“I reported him to local authorities and the police in the sector, but all they did was to summon him. Typical of him, he refused to honor the summons and authorities did not make a follow up,” she said with tears rolling down her cheeks.
She noted that the harassment that she sustained from her husband in the past four years pushed her to leave her family until when the husband apologized to the whole family, three weeks ago.
“We agreed that the day he will dare beat me again, I will directly report to higher authorities such as Police commander in the district,” the mother of four said.
According to sources, domestic violence is widespread in the area mainly due to drunkenness.
“Often, men harass or beat their wives when they are under the influence of alcohol. I also think that some of them want to be in command of the household property in order to use it as they want, depriving women of their rights,” said Séraphine Kanzayire of Mugogwe cell, Kiruhura sector.
Speaking to The New Times, the district vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs, Aloysie Nyiransabimana, advised women to report cases of GBV to local authorities.
“When authorities at the cell or sector level do nothing, people should seek redress from higher authorities, if they keep quiet, we will never know of their problems,” Nyiransabimana said.
The vice mayor urged women to work hard in order to gain economic independence.