2020 STARTS WITH A RENEWED ENERGY TO END RAPE CULTURE
Uganda has laws and policies in place but violence against women and girls continues to prevail and these rob them of their emotional stability. Over the years many stories, documentaries and reports have been written and shared with the masses about rape. According to Uganda Police crime report 2018 16,320 case of rape and defilement were reported and only 399 were taken to court.
At the beginning of 2020 we woke up to a story of one brave girl who opened up on twitter about how she was raped in one of the hostels in the suburbs of Nakawa. Her story raised a lot of emotions as we had some people blaming her for what happened, sympathising with her but what came out strongly was that many individuals had very little knowledge about consent. Her bold step encouraged other survivors and victims to speak up about their experiences and mention who their perpetrators were with the help of a few social media influencers. The influencers shared all the stories that had been directly messaged to them on social media for people to know who the perpetrators are and the circumstances in which the girls had been raped while protecting the identities of the survivors. The stories reminded us that anyone can rape you as the nature of offenders ranged from friends, relatives, bosses at places of work, strangers, police officers who took advantage of suspects in police custody among others.
his campaign is unique and powerful as it was started up by various people on social media and the survivors. Everyone can bring about the change they want to see in society where both women and men are living in a safe environment by being each other’s keepers, naming and shaming the perpetrators so that their next victims are safe. All the efforts towards the elimination of GBV counts it’s because of these brave women that we have the MyBodyMyConset campaign. The campaign was launched on 15th January 2020 with a press conference which had members of parliament, a consortium of CSOs, NGOs to launch a joint action against all forms of sexual assault that have been committed against women and girls. The campaign is geared towards creating a Uganda that is safer for both women and men to freely enjoy their sexual rights through expediting the passing of the sexual offenses Bill, providing legal and psychosocial support to victims of rape and sexual assault and publicly condemning sexual violence in all its forms by encouraging the victims to speak up, naming and shaming the perpetrators of sexual assault and rape.
A number of activities are lined up during the campaign such as tabling a motion on the floor of parliament asking to pass the sexual offenses bill, do public interest litigation on several Human Rights of the brave ladies that spoke out and the suit will be headed by Hon. Adeke Anna Ebaju
Compiled by UYAHF Comms team