We ran a story yesterday about the increasing number of rape and defilement cases in Nyagatare District. According to the district’s Intermediate Court, on average, 45 out of 50 cases handled by the court, in a month, are related to sexual abuse with most of the victims, children under 14.
Initial research has proved that the suspects are at most times under the influence of drugs and illicit brew locally known as Kanyanga that is imported from Uganda
To address this disturbing problem, members of the Nyagatare community, in their various capacitates, must join hands to kick out the vice once and for all.
Parents must keep close watch over their children. They should be able to ensure that the children are safe all the time. Important to note is that the safety children should be the responsibility of the entire community and not the parents alone.
Local leaders should work closely with the community and law enforcing organs to stop the trade of illicit brew and drugs and heavy punishment meted out to those found guilty.
Schools should integrate, within their curriculums, lessons on how children can protect themselves from sexual offenders.
And, finally, massive sensitization campaigns should be conducted to raise awareness among the population. As a community, the residents of Nyagatare should come up with home grown solutions specifically designed to address the causes and consequences of sexual abuse within their community.