Rwanda: Sexual assault targeting children rises

APA -Kigali (Rwanda)

The Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has recorded some 3,512 cases of sexual assault against children by August 2019 up from 3060 complaints received in the previous year, one of the senior researchers investigating the phenomenon disclosed on Monday in Kigali.

Speaking on Monday during a session organised by  Rwanda Women Parliamentary Forum, the Deputy Secretary General of RIB, Isabelle Kalihangabo explained that a growing number of  cases of sexual violence has been recorded over recent years, with many other cases currently still under investigation.

"The cases exposed and faced trial is only the tip of an iceberg, because of limited awareness by some parents and educators," Kalihangabo said.

The number of sexual harassment and rape against children in Rwanda is mostly based on preliminary data that did not cover the full year, it said.

But the number of people reporting incidents is still low, because some closes relatives to children who are subject to these sexual abuses are likely less concerned, according to the police report.

Results from the latest Violence against Children and Youth Survey (VACYS) that was conducted in 2016 has indicated that children and young people in Rwanda are at risk of sexual, physical and emotional violence.

Girls are more likely to experience sexual violence than boys, with two out of every 10 young women having been exposed to sexual violence before the age of 18, compared to one in 10 young men, according to the survey.

It said the perpetrators are often the very people who are supposed to protect and nurture children in their homes and communities where they should be safe.


React to this article