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Members of the Rwanda Religious Leaders Initiative believe that sexual violence, especially against women and children in Nyamagabe district and elsewhere in Rwanda, is often the result of family conflict. , religious leaders and churches at all levels have been called upon to play a key role in the fight against the violence among the members community since they are the ones in touch and often meeting them.
This was stated at a meeting on Saturday, June 5, 2021, in a workshop on sexual and child abuse provided by the Rwanda Religious Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the United Nations Department for Gender and Development. ‘UN Women.
Religious leaders and churches should be among the first to oppose violence, according to Pastor Matabaro Jonas, chairperson of the Rwanda Religious Leaders Initiative, a non-violent organization that opposes child abuse.
“We have decided to train religious and church leaders to work together to fight a war that is destroying families, a war that is destroying Rwanda,” he said. The leaders we have today have also been children. This epidemic is damaging the children we deserve to stand up for because these children will be the leaders tomorrow. We should not be silent. ”
In her remarks, Mukamusoni Philomène, one of the (Champion) trainees who came to represent the National Council of Women in the region, said that the reason for the continued prevalence of teenage pregnancies is largely due to parents denying their responsibilities of being open to their kids about the reality of sex.
“Parents, we are encouraged to approach children and talk to them again. “Obviously we are in a lot of work and our children are being abused, and we are urging our children not to hide their problems because they are visible.”
Mukamusoni said she was determined to reach out to fellow parents with their families, friends, and local authorities.
Habimfura Vincent, President of the Association of Religious Organizations in Nyamagabe District, said it was important for religious leaders (Champions) to be trained on sexual violence, since they are the ones who often meet with the community members.
“Religions and churches, in our responsibility to combat violence and crime, there is a gap on the one hand that is not aware of violence or how one can deal with it when it happens,” he said. We have accepted what we can do in the event of violence. ”
It is also at a time when the National Police has recently shown that domestic violence rates have increased significantly in Rwanda by 2020 compared to 2019. These crimes stem from family conflicts including beatings and injuring, murdering, coercing, abusing a spouse and raping children.