“The biggest challenge with handling human trafficking cases is that you have willing victims driven by circumstances into submission to acts which result into sexual violence,” said Moses Binoga, the Chairman of the National Task Force on Human Trafficking.
Sexual Violence is one of the unvoiced acts that daily strangle up people in their relationships. It affects men, women and children. However, women and girls turn out to be more of the victims. This is mainly because of tradition and rigid gender norms.
It is such issues that ought to be addressed. The perpetrators of sexual violence usually are freed for lack of evidence against them. The inconsistency in the law gives lee way to the perpetrators to go unpunished. For example, does a raped victim first report to the health centre or the police?
One out of three women who experience physical or sexual violence is mainly inflicted by someone close to them usually a relative or friend. And reporting them to authorities is a challenge.
Also the police, in a number of countries in the Great Lakes Region, does not have a clear description of what constitutes to be sexual violence and what does not. This affects the process of justice.
It is because of this reason that The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) convened a two day conference at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort to find ways of seeking #Justices4SexualViolenceSurvivors during the #16days of Activism.
Today, there are many gaps in the process of documenting and investigating sexual violence. Very few personnel in the police are well versed with how to address this issue.
According to ICGLR, sexual violence includes; rape, sexual assault, grievous bodily harm, mutilation and forced pregnancy.
Sexual Violence should not be seen as a public health care problem but as one that cuts across multi-sectors.
There is need to ask questions but most importantly to speak to the victims of sexual violence; men, women and children. Victims ought to be helped especially men. Very few open up as victims of sexual violence.
Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut pledged, on behalf of the government, to seek justice for the victims.