Gender based violence voiced out


18 Women and girls victims of gender based violence in Gashoho commune denounce publicly their rappers. Thanks to World Vision Burundi's sensitization.

In World Vision Burundi, gender is a crosscutting theme in any project implementation process. Communities, especially women are sensitized on the importance of fighting against women’s violence for the well-being of the whole community and for the children in particular.

On the 13th of December 2012, World Vision Burundi joined other nations of the World in the 2012 16 days of activism against women's violence campaign. It took place in Gashoho ADP under the theme: “From peace in the households to peace in the community: zero tolerance to violence against women." More than 100 women including 18 who have been victims of violence were invited to attend that campaign. Each hill was represented by 5 women leaders. Other key persons present included: a representative of the Family development Centre (CDF), a communal administrator representative, a women representative at communal level, a police officer and a large crowd. In their speeches all of the speakers of the day emphasized on seeing women violence and abuse mitigated. Denouncing authors of gender based violence was one of the recurrent words. In Burundi revealing gender based violence has been a taboo for many years. Now some activists supported by World Vision Burundi are sensitizing women to come out of their silence

“Stand up as one man, denounce and combat violence against women. Don't keep quiet! Women violence destroys families.” Said Marceline Rwazanyingata,  a women representative at communal level.

She called upon the government and other stakeholders to work in partnership to end such violence in Burundi households. According to her, this should pass through strengthening the already existing structures in charge of the promotion of women’s rights. She thanked a lot World Vision Burundi for supporting people in voicing out all kinds of injustices perpetrated against women. She also thanked her fellow women who did not keep silence when they were victims of gender based violence.

Philbert MUHIZI, the representative of Family Development Centre (CDF) at communal level took the flow and encouraged the victims "I encourage all of you who are victims of such violence to denounce perpetrators. We will support you." He spoke holding the microphone closer to his mouth as if he was not enough heard. Philbert says that reports at his centre show that around 40 women were abused all along the year 2012 but only 18 dared to say it. According to him that shows that there is lot of work to be done to take out all the victims out of their silence.

“I will never tolerate any case of women's violence" Reverien Nshimirimana, police officer working in that locality said to the silent crowd at last. He said to be aware of the 18 cases and thanked a lot those women who took courage to report them. “Most of the alleged people were found to be the perpetrators. They are in custody now. Other cases are under investigations and I promise to punish seriously any person who will be guilty of that crime.” He concluded.

According to Augustin Mbonyumwitsa, World Vision development mobiliser, any action aiming at helping children to enjoy life in its fullness would fail if households are not in peace. "Zero tolerance to violence against women is a starting point." He says.

In the end it was an opportunity to encourage the 18 women and girls who accepted to raise their voices to decry violence they were victims of. World Vision as a sign of support and solidarity gave them some materials like soaps, cans, basins and cloths.