The Commissioner for Public Relations, Media and protocol in Rwanda National Police (RNP) Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Celestin Twahirwa has appealed to residents of Bugesera District to be active partners through real time information sharing especially on gender based violence (GBV) and child abuse related crimes.
He noted that there are some people, who take advantage of other’s vulnerability to abuse them, violate their rights adding that combating such irregularities requires ownership of every individual and reporting every single case they come across.
ACP Twahirwa, who is also RNP spokesperson was addressing over 3000 residents of Bugesera on September 8 in an ongoing anti- Gender Based Violence (GBV) and child abuse campaign.
The event was also graced by the Mayor of Bugesera, Emmanuel Nsanzumuhire. It was also attended by Vice mayor Social affairs and the coordinator of Isange One Stop Centres, Supt. Shafiga Murebwayire among others.
The campaign targets areas marked as hotspots to highlight and address challenges associated with GBV and Child Abuse, and to further narrow the Police-public gap in timely sharing of information on any form of abuse.
“GBV is real and it’s a responsibility for each of us to use the possible means in our midst to eliminate it. This is not a one man’s fight…it concerns everyone,” ACP Twahirwa said.
“If you managed to rebuild the country from the ruins of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, then we can’t fail on this front of eliminating GBV and child abuse,” he added.
“Sharing such information is a contribution to national development since it helps in ensuring that our societies are safe from any form of violence. Remember, a community that is safe focuses more on developing itself than spending much time in conflicts,” he noted.
The public awareness followed an earlier meeting with over 200 local and opinion leaders, which also focused on strong collaboration to raise the awareness and fight against the vice.
“Silence is betrayal; the only way we are going to eliminate this form of abuse is through breaking the silence,” ACP Twahirwa told local leaders.
The campaign also seeks to enlighten the general population on the services offered by Isange One Stop Centre, which currently operates in 28 district hospitals across the country.
The centre was established in 2009 with the support of the First Lady Jeannette Kagame through Imbuto Foundation, as a quick response and holistic approach to offer free medical, psycho-socio and legal services to the victims of GBV and Child Abuse.
It also conducts post treatment follow up.
The Mayor of Bugesera Emmanuel Nsanzumuhire thanked RNP for its continued efforts in fighting GBV and pressing it among its priorities.
He appealed to the residents to heed the call and be “a force of change” in addressing GBV, domestic violence and children child abuse.
He also pledged the commitment and support of the district leadership for furtherance of the campaign.
During the meeting, residents who had concerns related to domestic and gender based violence filed them with the Isange One Stop Centre mobile clinic – a fully-fledged vehicle that offers all Isange clinical services.
Police records indicate that at least 79 cases related to GBV and child abuse have been registered between January and August this year in Bugesera.
They include defilement, rape, battery, corporal punishment and two cases of domestic murder, among others