At least 2,372 girls were impregnated with the most affected districts being Kitgum, Ngora, Kyegegwa, Kasese, Lyantonde and Luuka.
DEFILEMENT | DOMESTIC VIOLENCE | CHILDREN
JINJA - At least 6,838 of the 16,242 cases of gender-based violence (GBV) reported to the Police from January to June 2020, were defilement cases, according to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
In the same period, 223 cases of aggravated domestic violence (leading to death) were recorded across the country.
Between January and April, 356 of the defilement cases involved children below eight years, 799 were between 9-14 years while 3,288 were between 15-17 years, Christine Okot, the principal gender officer of the gender ministry, said.
Speaking during a stakeholders' workshop at the Civil Service College in Jinja on Thursday (October 8, 2020), Okot said statistics further indicate that 110 of the suspects tested HIV-positive, while 38 of the victims were children with disabilities.
She said 61 cases were committed by parents of the victims and 64 by guardians, adding that GBV cases escalated during the lockdown.
"There was an increase in the number of cases reported at our GBV shelters across the country and other agencies during the lockdown, yet many others went unreported," she said.
"In Sebei sub-region, more cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) were registered at the GBV shelter in Kween," Okot added.
She also revealed that at least 2,372 teenage girls were impregnated with the most affected districts being Kitgum, Ngora, Kyegegwa, Kasese, Lyantonde and Luuka.
Okot said the gender and education ministries, health and other stakeholders are currently discussing ways of helping the pregnant girls, who she said are meant to be in school.
"We are exploring how, for instance, those in candidate classes can be helped sit their final examinations without much disruption. Secondly, their health is at risk, some of them are as young as 14. What will result from such a pregnancy?" she asked.
Justice David Batema, the Mukono Resident Judge, warned against the practice where some headteachers stop pregnant girls from sitting their examinations, saying though not appropriate, they need to be pardoned for the sake of their future.
Okot said the Government has since set up a committee to fight the escalation of GBV and COVID-19.
She explained that part of the strategy is to reach out to cultural and religious leaders so that they can talk about the dangers of violence in their respective communities. There is also a component of economic empowerment of the victims of violence.