What you need to know:
Statistics from Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) show that between January and June, 2,157 defilement cases have been filed with many being impregnated by the defilers.
The RIB figures indicate that more than 11 girls on average were being defiled daily in the country for the past six months.
In 2019, the total number of defilement cases stood at 3,623, health activists and gender activists predict that the cases will double those of last year if schools remain closed until next year as anticipated by the government.
The closure of schools in Rwanda due to Covid-19 has exposed children to a high risk of various forms of violence and abuse, with defilement cases.
Statistics from Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) show that between January and June, 2,157 defilement cases have been filed out of which majority are pregnant.
The RIB figures indicate that more than 11 girls on average are defiled on a daily basis for the past six months.
In 2019, the total number of defilement cases stood at 3,623. Health and gender activists predict that the cases will double this year if schools remain closed until next year as anticipated by the government.
Last week, Grace Kamariza (not her real name), a Senior Two student living at Gahanga sector, in Kicukiro District told Nation that she was defiled by a relative she has been living – the relative is now on the run after neighbours caught him red-handed by neighbours.
“The man who impregnated me is a relative; I used to suspect his wrong actions but because I used to spend little time at home and go back to school in boarding, it was difficult for him to get me,” says Kamariza.
“When we went back home after schools closed, I was with him and my five-year-old brother most of the time. It became difficult to dodge his conversations at home since there was no one else to talk to because our parents could wake up go to work and come back late in the evening,” she says.
“One day, while my little brother was asleep, he came to my room and I remember waking up when he was already on top of me. I tried to scream but I did not get help,” she says.
“That very day I did not tell my parents what had happened; they, however, came to know two weeks after finding that I was pregnant and the predator had run away.”
“I wish I had been going to school because if I had been occupied with the school, this would have not happened,” Kamariza says.
“I feel bad because my dream has failed now just because of my pregnancy.”
Nation has learnt that the worrying trend has been linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, with health and human rights activists expressing fear that the figures will double this year.