Ministers and Members of Parliament lead the pack of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV)perpetrators in the community, a senior police officer has said.
“The SGBV problem is big.Most cases involve high-profile people such as the minsters, MPs, judges, politicians,” Dr John Kamya, a police commissioner in charge of human resource development, said in an interview yesterday.
Dr Kamya made the remarks after addressing 45 participants in a training on collection, preservation and management of forensic evidence during investigation and prosecution of SGBV cases. The training ends tomorrow.
According to United Nations, SGBV refers to any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships.
It encompasses threats of violence and coercion. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual in nature, and can take the form of a denial of resources or access to services. It inflicts harm on women, girls, men and boys.
Dr Kamya said women and girls bear the biggest brunt of such degrading crime, which often is unresolved due to lack of water-tight investigation. “Every week, I have a case of this nature. Or at least involving high-profile people. And such cases pose a challenge to us,” he said.
According to International Conference on the Great Lakes Region-Regional Training Facility (ICGLR RTF) and Actionaid Uganda joint press statement, only two in 10 women in Uganda report violence or seek help.
Even when cases are reported, conviction rates for perpetrators stand at only 6.6 per cent of prosecuted cases.
“We have been campaigning for special courts/sessions to handle GBV cases. However, we have observed pertinent challenges among them is the limited capacity of officer to handle SGBV cases resulting from limited skills in collection, preservation and management of forensic evidence during investigation and prosecution of SGBV cases,” Mr Henry Nickson Ogwal, the ActionAid fundraising director, said.
The ICGLR- RTF acting director, Mr Nathan Mwesigye Byamukama, said the training is not only in conflict areas but also deals with emerging challenges involving very important people either as perpetrators or victims.