KAMPALA, Uganda – On September 2020, The New Vision published an article stating that a total of 6,888 cases of Sex-Gender Based Violence had been reported to Police in the last six months.
Of these, most victims of defilement (4,822) were aged 15-17 years, 640 of the victims were between 0-8 and 1446 were aged 9-14 years. The report indicated that generally, by the end of June, a total of 16,242 cases of SGBV were reported to Police, and that on average, a total of 2,707 cases of SGBV were reported to Police per month.
According to that same report; a total of 2,652 cases of defilement were taken to court, and out of which 171 cases secured convictions, one case was an acquittal, 24 were dismissed and 2,456 cases are still pending in court.
According to Primah Kwagala, the Executive Director of Women’s Probono Initiative (WPI), “there are good laws and policies to an extent that have been put in place but the rate at which they’re being applied is really alarmingly slow.”
Primah adds that, “If nothing is done to speed up the process of litigation and seeing to the completion of SGBV related cases, many of these perpetrators will walk away scotch free as sometimes the process takes years and the cases are almost forgotten about, which is not good.”
According to Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) SGBV, Superintendent of Police Rose Nalubega, it has time and again been proven that SGBV does have long term ill effects on the victims and their families.
To this effect, UGANET strongly recommends that more litigators be assigned to these cases to speed up the process of acquiring justice for the victims and that government facilitates the process, since many times things like transportation costs hinder the progress of the cases.
“Those that impede the process of acquiring justice for the victims through receiving bribes should be harshly dealt with to deter others from doing the same, and also sensitize all those involved in this process as the gravity of the matter is very key,” says Rhonah Babweteera, Head, Violence Against Women Prevention, UGANET.