Gender based violence and other crimes are a barrier to national development and need to be addressed.
The remarks were made by government and security officials while launching a one month campaign against Gender Based Violence on Monday in Musanze District.
The Minister for Gender and Family Promotion Odda Gasinzigwa told participants mostly youth that GBV and child abuse are a threat to social economic development of the country.
Noting that government has taken several measures to stem gender based violence, the minister stressed that nothing can be achieved without youth involvement.
The government measures to stem GBV include the scale up of Isange One Stop Centre to all district hospitals across the country by 2017.
Isange started in July 2009 at Kacyiru Police Hospital (KPH) as a pilot project to provide free psycho-socio, medical and legal services to adult and child survivors of gender based violence and child abuse.
It has so far received about 7, 000 cases since its establishment.
“The government counts on you and expects a lot from you , the issue of gender based violence hampers social economic development of the nation and it is high time we stem it,” said Gasinzigwa.
The minister urged youth and Rwandans in general to work closely with police to prevent crimes and report any cases related to gender and child abuse.
“You should support police in crimes prevention, let’s all say no to GBV and never allow any body to involve in GBV. Avoid protecting wrong doers but promote zero tolerance, I am optimistic this is achievable if we work together,” she added.
The Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana cited murder among spouses and sexual violence such as rape and defilement among the common cases of GBV.
The Police Chief said 1682 and 1445 cases of defilement were registered in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
A total of 244 and 281 cases of rape were also recorded in that order, he added.
Twenty five men were also killed by their spouses and 67 women killed by their husbands in the same years, he further explained.
Gasana said majority of violence cases are attributed to drugs and alcohol abuse and called for collaborative efforts to fight the vice.
He also advised victims to report violence to police using toll free line 3512 or 112.
Pieter Dorst, the head of Development Cooperation in the Kingdom of Netherlands, one of anti-GBV supporters said such campaigns are important to raise awareness of the dangers of GBV because every girl, woman and any other person deserve respect.
“We know GBV is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and we are committed to combat it in all means, what is necessary is to amplify our way of sharing information,” said Dorst.
The awareness campaign was organised by the Rwanda National Police in partnership with the ministries of Family and Gender Promotion, Health and Justice to rally the general public behind the fight.
It is being conducted under the theme “Act together in Prevention and Response to GBV and Child Abuse.”