Anglican Church Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje has urged the public not to shy away from reporting cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV).
He made the call yesterday during an event organised to educate and sensitise the population about the need to fight GBV in Kigali City’s Bumbogo Sector of Gasabo District. The event is one of the activities the Anglican Church is conducting during its sixteen days of activism against GBV that started on November 25.
In his speech, Rwaje noted that unless communities work together in bringing down GBV, it is would be difficult to fight it.
“Couples should learn to respect each other; wives obey your husbands and husbands you must love your wives as the Bible says. And it is not possible that people who love one another can act against each other,” Rwaje said.
He told Bumbogo residents that for families to leave in harmony, there was need for commitment from the family members to build a good family and bringing up good citizens.
Rwaje warned of the negative effects of bringing up children in a poor background saying children will easily adopt characters of their parents.
“If parents fight in the presence of their children, that is setting a very bad example to the young generation; and it will affect these children—meaning that even these children will not be good for peaceful families in their future,” he said.
He also reminded his audience that peaceful families make up a peaceful nation, urging that it is everyone’s responsibility to fight GBV.
Organisers of the event said that there have been serious cases of GBV in Bumbogo Sector; the reason they decided to have the event there.
Residents who spoke to The New Times said that one of the issues frustrating the fight against GBV was fear.
“You find that some women`s rights are violated and various forms of GBV occur but we are not sure or we have no guarantee to remain with our husbands in case we report them,” said one of the residents.
Others said that full financial dependency on their husbands make women in the area more vulnerable to GBV.
The Executive Secretary of the National Women Council, Christine Tuyisenge, warned against keeping GVB cases a secret.
Among other issues, she also pointed out that although statistics indicate that women are the most affected by GBV, it remains a fact that some husbands are silently affected.
“Some men are also being affected but not able to report cases; this is very dangerous and it actually frustrates our efforts because the aim is to ensure that no one is affected by GBV,” she said.
Tuyisenge explained that the main reason why societies are suffering from GBV cases is that families are not discussing to find lasting solutions for their problems or challenges.
This, she noted, prolongs the misunderstanding in any family.