Officers of Rwanda National Police met with residents of Base Sector of Rulindo district recently and challenged them to be ambassadors in fighting and reporting cases of gender based violence as well as amplify their voice against the vice in order to harness public safety and security.
The call was made during a meeting that brought together several families which were marred in wrangles to ensure that such misunderstandings are brought to an end with erupting into violence.
In his address to the families, the District Community Liaison Officer (DCLO) Inspector of Police (IP) Fidele Mbonimana told any form of family wrangles is likely to result in violence and related cases of GBV to drug abuse.
“GBV and drug abuse pose a serious security and that why RNP stringent measures like establishing a Gender Desk Directorate and Isange One Stop Centre for medical and legal service for the victims at no cost” he said.
Isange One Stop Centre provides free psycho, socio-medical and legal services to adults and child survivors of GBV and child abuse and currently operates in almost all corners of the country.
“If we want to have a GBV-free society, it is paramount that we take a collective measure to protect the victims. GBV has diverse negative consequences including unplanned pregnancies, unsafe abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, psychological trauma, family conflicts, death and physical disabilities; and is an obstacle to peaceful relations in families and communities,” said the DCLO.
He called for enhanced partnership in preventing and reporting GBV and reminded attendants that, “Rwanda has shown a strong political will to prevent and fight GBV. The constitution highlights a gender dimension that covers GBV among other issues. Ratified, domesticated and popularized regional and international conventions and implemented, legal and policy frameworks are also in place to serve as a foundation to better tackle the challenges of gender-based violence.”
The international and regional conventions include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (1979), and the Platform for Action adopted at the UN World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995). Rwanda’s legal reforms, in 1999, also gave women and girls property rights, including the right to inherit land from their parents, which was treated like a taboo previously.
IP Mbonimana said institutions like Rwanda National Police have been at the forefront in implementing these national and international laws and protocols.
Fiacre Nkunzinezayimana, the executive secretary of Base sector, commended RNP’s continued efforts in maintaining security in the country and fighting gender based violence in particular.
“If these acts are to be dealt with effectively, everyone has to be active too. These are crimes that happen within before us in communities, by our neighbours, and we can prevent them if we decide to do so by reporting them to the nearest authorities,” Nkunzinezayimana said, calling upon the general public to also be active in community development activities where these issues are also discussed.