Uganda: 200 Girls Flee Their Homes Over Violence
By Joseph Kato
At least 200 girls run away from their parents and guardians’ home due to domestic violence, an Action Aid official has said.
Ms Irene Ahimbisibwe, Action Aid’s psychosocial support officer, said they record over 500 cases of girls and women who have fallen victim of domestic violence countrywide.
She said in most cases, the girls abandon their homes and go to live at their Gender Based Violence (GBV) centers, resettlement centers, take to the streets or shift to relatives’ homes.
“GBV is still a big problem in the country. We receive about 500 cases a day and most of the victims are girls followed by women. They have been physically or psychologically subjected to torture and violence,” Ms Ahimbisibwe said.
She made the remarks while speaking to media at the sidelines of police’s exhibition of strategies that can be used to curb violence against girls and women at Railway grounds in Kampala on Wednesday.
The event was part of the series of activities organised by police in preparation for the sixtieth Kigali Internal Conference Declaration (KCID) on combating domestic violence against women and girls from that would be hosted in Kampala from March 6-7.
Ms Ahimbisibwe said domestic violence was rampant in places like; Bwaise, Katanga and Kimombasa, all suburbs of Kampala. Outside the city; Mubende, Lira, Gulu and Nebbi are some of the districts where domestic violence is high.
Mr Andrew Kaweesi, police spokesperson on Tuesday cited Wakiso, Mukono, Kampala, Busoga and Northern Uganda regions where violence against women was on increase.
Ms Hadijjah Namutebi, a senior police officer in community policing department agreed with Ms Ahimbisibwe saying most of the children they have interacted with from streets abandoned their homes because of torture and daily beatings.
She said police was registering several cases of girls and women subjected to psychological and emotional torture by their fathers, husbands and other male relatives.
“We receive several cases of girls who have been impregnated or raped by relatives. There is increased stigma among females and this has made many children leave homes for streets,” Ms Namutebi said.
A report by police released on Tuesday shows an increase on crimes against girls and women. In 2010, 109 women died as a result of domestic violence whereas 163 lost their life to the same in 2016. 36 cases of women trafficking were recorded in 2011, rising to 375 cases in 2016. Girl child kidnap increased from 72 cases in 2011 to 572 in 2016.