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Domestic violence cases still high – Official

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Kigali: Domestic violence cases against women are still numbered high with just a few cases dropping. Comparing the last two years in row, reported cases indicated a fall by 690 cases, says Dr. Sam Rugege.

Available statistics indicate 3,010 cases in 2008 compared to 3,700 cases reported in the country. The deputy Chief justice Dr. Sam Rugege notes a minimal decline in reported domestic violence cases.

“We need to strengthen collaboration of the public institutions involved in the war against sexual and domestic violence,” said Dr Rugege. “We also lack expertise and equipments in determining those [domestic violence] acts.”

Various actors for curbing down gender related violence are training on how best to handle victims who are mostly women and children.

According to assistant inspector of police gender desk, Ms. Bellina Mukamana domestic violence is rampant and not always reported in time. She indicates that women in Rwanda report violence cases after 90 times, which is 22 and 20 times more than in South Africa and North America respectively.

Tools for identifying the acts committed are still in promises and this has been forcing law enforcement agencies to take their tests outside the country. Dr Sam Rugege says that the police has to send samples to Germany for laboratory tests, in order to determine DNA.

Prof. Susan Kreston, at the Free State University South Africa, says it is important to identify and recruit a team on multidisciplinary team, which must constitute of forensic interviewers, victim advocates, court preparation officers and probation department in order to carry on an effective investigation.

According to Dr Haveman vice Rector Rwanda law development center, domestic violence involve officers to overseen and comply with the checklist, and monitor its use.

Community involvement by participating in community meeting and to describe police responses to violence against women, arrangement of appearances at schools, churches and promotion of community education and zero tolerance of violence against women. (End)

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