The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Esperance Nyirasafari has pledged more support to Isange One Stop Centre (IOSC) to ensure that the centre’s services effectively reaches out to each all victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and child abuse.
She made the pledge while visiting the IOSC at Kacyiru Hospital where she was accompanied by the Executive Secretary of National Commission for Children, Dr Claudine Uwera Kanyamanza.
Isange, which started as a pilot project in 2009, has since been expanded to 28 other district hospitals across the country. It is a multidisciplinary and holistic approach that binds various institutions responsible for fighting and preventing GBV including the ministries of Gender and family Promotion, Health, Justice and Rwanda National Police.
“The services offered by Isange have been significant to the beneficiaries especially in advancing human rights. The process of scaling up the centre across the country is still going on but we want to improve the quality of services through providing more financial support to the centre. We will do that with the help of all stakeholders,” said Minister Nyirasafari.
She added: “I encourage all Rwandans to know and exploit Isange services...break silence and report anyone who violate rights of others especially women and girls, who are the most affected.”
With regards to the laws, the Minister pointed out that, “as the penal code goes under review, we intend to consider a number of proposals that will be shaping ways of how even witnesses can report such human rights violations to police, not on victims.”
Speaking about teenage pregnancies, Minister Nyirasafari said that no family should tolerate that and reminded “it’s criminal.”
“Any one below the age of 18 and pregnant was definitely defiled and whenever those children show up to give birth at the hospital, records will be taken and police should follow up whoever is responsible for the pregnancy,” she said.
Isange has doctors, psychologists, social workers, judicial police officers that are tasked with helping victims to acquire all the necessary services in one place and free of charge.
Where necessary, IOSC accompany the victim back to their homes to make sure that they are fully reintegrated in their families because some of them sometimes feel rejected.
Under the reintegration process, IOSC works with various entities on grassroots to ensure that they are fully rehabilitated.
It offers free medical, psycho-socio and legal services to victims of GBV and child abuse and has facilitated the public with easy means of communication with a toll-free line – 3029 – which has been essential in getting information from the affected for immediate response.