KIGALI - Different actors involved in the fight against Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) met in Kigali, yesterday, for a national consultative forum to map the way forward in fighting the vice.
The meeting, which attracted various stakeholders, was convened to provide background information that would help guide governments in the Great Lakes region, to strengthen efforts for collective effective action against SGBV.
A representative of UN Women Rwanda, John Mutamba, said that over 250,000 women were raped during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and at least one out of three women faces a risk of being abused.
He warned against what he called a pessimistic attitude towards SGBV, and urged for a reversal of a culture of impunity that still prevails in some parts of the country.
Isaie Bugabo, an expert on regional economic communities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that a number of laws have been enacted to help fight of SGBV.
“There is a policy that requires every institution to have a GBV desk .This will help address these issues, including at the workplace,” Bugabo said.
He added that Sexual and Gender Based Violence cases are now given priority in courts of law.
Emmanuel Nzaramba, an official from the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, outlined the common cases of SGBV; rape, physical, economic and psychological violence.
“Community based structures and organizations have been set up to curb the SGBV scourge. There are also toll-free lines available for emergency calls to respond to such cases immediately, and address victims’ needs,” he said.
Nzaramba added that victims are entitled to free medical assistance to help them recover quickly.
He added that enacting of a law against SGBV will help people know that it is a crime that comes with punishment as well.
The Director of the GBV Directorate at the Rwanda National Police, Morris Muligo, said there were 1,654 cases of child defilement and 324 cases of rape against adult women, in 2010, both of which registered an increase compared to the previous year.