26 Per Cent Of Girls In Eastern Uganda Are Defiled

By Amos Ngwomoya

 A new survey on sexual violence against children has revealed that 26.2 per cent of girls between 13-17 years in eastern Uganda have had sex.

The eastern region is followed by the western region with 24.2 per cent, 18.1 per cent in Northern region while the central region comes last with 14.4 per cent.

For the boys below the age of 18 who have had sex, the survey adds, the central regions is ranked highest with 24.4 per cent followed by the Northern region at 22.9 percent, eastern at 21.5 per cent while western region comes last with 13.6 per cent.

The findings in the survey, whose report will be launched in January, next year, were released in Mukono on Friday last week.

According to the survey, at least 35 per cent of girls between 13 -17 years are sexually abused while 16 per cent of boys in the same age group also encounter the same.

However, 20 per cent girls and 5 of boys are forced into sex for the first time.

 The survey further reveals that the eastern region ranked highest in sexual abuse cases against girls at 33.9 per cent followed by the central region at 30.4 per cent, followed by northern region at 21.8 per cent while the western region has the least cases at 20.2 per cent.

The findings are entailed in a survey titled: ‘Uganda Violence Against Children’ (VAC) which was carried out between 2015 and 2017 by AfriChild Uganda in partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Childfund International, Unicef and Ubos among others.

The survey was intended to estimate violence against children for males and females separately.

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For the females, areas which were likely to have high prevalence of violence were over sampled while the male sample, proportion allocation was employed.

Apart from sexual abuse, the study also looked at physical and emotional violence.

For the physical violence, children suffer most at 68 per cent while girls suffer the least at 59 per cent.

For emotional violence, the survey shows, boys still suffer most at 36 per cent while girls suffer the least at 34 per cent.

For physical violence against children, the eastern region tops with 70.34 per cent followed by central region at 66.32 per cent, northern region with 57.75 per cent while the western has the least cases at 55.16 per cent.

Cases of emotional violence against children are high in central region at 41.8 per cent, eastern region at 36.5 per cent, and western region at 29.3 per cent while the Northern region has the least cases at 27.3 per cent.

Ms Joyce Wanican, the executive director, AfriChild Uganda, said that the objective of the survey was to determine the magnitude of violence against children, determine the health consequences of violence, identify risk and protective factors and to help the nation develop programs and policies to respond and prevent violence against children.

“Majority of parents out there no longer have any sense of parenting because they have done or watched some of the abuses against their children but they don’t take any action, and some of them are the perpetrators of these crimes,” she said.

Ms Wanican said when the official report is released next year, they will meet relevant authorities to find a lasting solution to the abuses against children in the country.

Mr Mondo Kyateka, the commissioner for youth and children affairs at the Ministry of Gender blamed the high levels of child abuse on parents whom he said, leave their children in the hands of other people whose morality is questionable.

“While carrying out this survey, it was found out that majority of children are abused by people who are close to them. For instance, some of the children are initiated into sexual matters by the maids but some of the parents aren’t aware,” he said.

To mitigate this vice, Mr Kyateka said that government is drafting policies on parenting adding that parents who will defy them will face the law.

Mr Andrew Senyonga, the Mukono District LCV chairperson said that before government intervenes in to fight child abuses, parents must take the lead first before any other third part comes in.

Source: allafrica.com

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