SOUTH SUDAN: Rwandan Police peacekeepers roll out campaign against gender violence, trauma

The Rwanda Formed Police Unit Three (FPU-3) serving under the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has started outreach programmes to raise awareness among the local population against Domestic and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

The sensitization campaign, which started on April 20, also seeks to enlighten communities on health and trauma matters.

While addressing representatives of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Juba, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jeannette Masozera, the FPU-3 Contingent Commander said that domestic and sexual violences is a serious human rights violation which often leaves permanent scars to victims.

"Domestic and sexual gender based violence is a widespread problem with serious consequences in terms of personal suffering, health complications including trauma, disability, lead to significant costs for healthcare systems which also affect families financially, and sometimes fatal," SSP Masozera said.

She added that SGBV is any harmful act of sexual, physical, psychological, mental and emotional abuse sometimes caused by cultural practices and power control over others by men or women.

According to SSP Masozera, breaking cultural barriers in communities, early intervention in family violence, breaking silence, supporting victims, counselling and advocacy help in dealing with the vice.

"Fighting domestic violence requires community involvement and breaking silence to share information for immediate response. It requires all men and women to understand each other and valuing each one's opinion and concerns, and sharing responsibilities in the family," said SSP Masozera.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Joseph Ndamiye Rugazora, the Chief Medical Officer for FPU-3, enlightened the local population on health and trauma matters including types of trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and management of trauma.

He highlighted human disasters such as wars, community violence, family conflicts, sexual violence, threats, refugees and racial as some of the causes of trauma.

CIP Rugazora encouraged them to always seek counseling, psychotherapy, body relation and physical exercises as well as support from family and community members as some of the ways to manage trauma.

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