27 November 2017

Burundi: Over 60 Percent of GBV Victims Are Youth Under 18, Seruka Records Show

An average of 120 cases per month is the number registered by Seruka, a local NGO dedicated to fighting against gender based violence.

Since 2003, Seruka Centre has received 19,028 victims of gender based violence and most of them are teenagers who are under 18 "We receive an average of 120 cases per month: 60 to 70% are teenagers under 18. 46% are children under 13 while 17 to 20% are under 5", says Schola Rubarika, a doctor at Seruka Centre.

Rubarika says there is a problem of ignorance which is still a major barrier to eradicate GBV "Most of the victims are teenagers and the problem is that they do not denounce the crime within 72h so as to be protected. Abusers frighten the victims and the latter keep quiet until they become seriously sick", she says.

She says among the cases of violence reported, the most predominant is sexual abuse followed by physical and psychological violence.

Rubarika says16 days of sensitization campaign is an opportunity to speak up, raise awareness and most importantly, provide the tools to combat gender based violence. "First, they have to know about it and the following step will be to combat it".

Bertille Bumwe, a psychologist at SFBLSP a local NGO fighting against women rights violation and HIV/AIDS says 16 days of campaign has helped to reach a number of audiences. "At the beginning, men considered it as women's issue. Now there are those we call male champions who help us to spread the message and fight against gender based violence", says Bumwe.

Bumwe says there is an improvement because now the number of those who report gender based violence has increased.

On 25 November and10 December, there are respectively the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the Human Rights Day, that is, 16 days of gender-based violence campaign worldwide and Burundi is not left behind.

The theme of this year is "Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls"

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