10 January 2019

Rwanda: Govt Sets Up Anti-GBV Centre At Every Sector

Rwanda National Police and the Ministry of Health will roll out more centres aimed at extending services related to fighting, treating and investigating Gender Based Violence (GBV) to the people.

The move will see anti-GBV services increased from 30 Isange One Stop Centres (one in each district) to 500, with at least one in every sector, officials said.

The move started with training of 1122 personnel, including health workers, representatives from the Ministry of Justice, crime investigators as well as police officers.

The training started on Monday and ended on Tuesday this week with a first cohort of 115 trainees.

While closing the first training, the Deputy Secretary General at Rwanda Investigation Bureau, Isabelle Kalihangabo, said that health centres have been empowered to treat and take care of victims of gender based violence.

Currently, he said, Isange One Stop Centre is at district hospitals, which are sometimes a bit far from victims, which delays treatment and crime investigation.

Out of the 5318 crimes that were reported in Kigali last year, 8.4 per cent or 441 were gender based crimes, according to police statistics.

Gender based crimes are likely to be more rampant in rural areas.

RIB officials say the number of GBV cases, especially defilement among teenager, is on the rise.

Kalihangabo said that sometimes victims, especially of rape and defilement, reach the hospitals too late to have traces of evidence that connects suspects to the crime such as spermatozoa which can be tested for DNA.

With Isange One Stop Centre Services at health centres, nurses will be able to give victims drugs that prevent HIV infection as well as storing evidences.

The institution said the increment is not because GBV cases are but because it is more reported than it were before.

Gerald Bizimana, a psychologist at Nyabiheke Refugee Camp health centre in Gatsibo District, suggested to all parties that a steady follow-up on families where GBV was reported should be made even after files have been handed to prosecution.

"There is need of following up on families where GBV cases were reported such that total resolution of problems in reached," he said.

The Government has established various programmes on anti GBV, including Isange One Stop Centre and a special anti GBV and child protection division at RIB.

Services at Isange One Stop Centre are free.

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