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Victims of sexual and gender-based violence are called upon to denounce them in order to benefit from assistance

ByWebmaster

May 19, 2022

BUJUMBURA May 18th (ABP) – The adviser to the General Directorate for the Promotion of Women and Gender Equality at the Ministry of National Solidarity, Social Affairs, Human Rights and Gender, Mr. Jacques Ndihokubwayo announced that some victims of sexual and gender-based violence do not present themselves to care services, during an interview he gave to ABP on May 13, 2022 in Bujumbura.

According to Mr. Ndihokubwayo, GBV is a reality in Burundi because cases present themselves to care services across all the provinces of the country. They are victims of four types of GBV, including socio-economic violence, particularly between spouses, which affects both women and men. He reported cases of psychological violence, sexual violence, physical violence, also specifying that we are witnessing excesses that lead to killings. According to Mr. Ndihokubwayo, it has been observed that people living with disabilities are in a state of vulnerability in the face of those GBVs, explaining that there are certain forms of disability which do not allow the person to be able to denounce the case which happened to him. He gave the example of the deaf and dumb and other types of disabilities that do not allow these people to move around.

For that category of people, the ministry has organized awareness campaigns for 250 deaf and dumb people across the country, so that they too know the different forms of violence and the services available, so that once victims of GBV, they receive assistance. According to Mr. Ndihokubwayo, men are victims of GBV to a lesser extent than women, explaining that the cases of men who are received by care services are fewer because men are afraid to report them.

To put an end to GBV, he indicated that the specific law on GBV provides for the involvement of several actors including the administration, the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, the Ministry in charge of Gender, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Security, civil society, local NGOs and others. He also specified that sensitizations have been made to explain to the people the different types of GBV, the law relating thereto in the sense of prevention and to indicate the care services throughout the country. That part of the ministry having gender in his attributions took advantage of that opportunity to invite anyone regardless of their sex, to denounce the cases of GBV and to contact the care services to benefit from the assistance they should.

According to the testimonies of Mrs. Ancile Irakoze and Diane Nahayo, members of the Twitezimbere group of Ntahangwa commune, Gihosha zone, there are some girls and women who are victims of gender-based sexual violence who do not dare to denounce their case, fear of being discriminated against by society. They claimed that some perpetrators intimidate their victims based on their social class. Concerning physical violence, they testified that there are women who are frequently beaten by their husbands and who do not dare to go to the authorized services for fear of being sent away from their homes or of being stigmatized by the society. According to them, there are men who do not give access to family resources to their wives, which they consider to be socio-economic violence. To put an end to GBV, they invited all women and girl victims of GBV to dare to denounce what happened to them.

For Ferdinand Ndikumana living in the Taba district of the Ntahangwa commune whom the ABP met, some men and boys are victims of GBV in the same way as women and prefer to keep silent, because in the Burundian tradition, the man is strong, he is the head of the household and must be respected. If he experiences GBV, he is afraid of being discriminated against by society and prefers to keep quiet. According to Mr. Ndikumana, by keeping silent, we risk developing other pathologies when there was a way to find a solution. He also supports the denunciation of cases of GBV.