The annual crime police report has indicated that 14,230 girls were defiled in Uganda in the year 2020.
According to the report released on Monday, the 14230 girls was a 3.8% increase from the 13613 reported in the year 2019.
Of the 14230, 9,954 victims were between the age of 15 and 17 whereas 2,986 were between the age of 14 and nine and 1,280 were below the age of eight.
“The category of 15 – 17 years are mainly victims of defilement due to some cultural norm still practiced where girls who have developed breasts are considered ready for marriage. These defilement cases are also due to adolescent age where many young girls are taken advantage of whereas some of the girls are defiled in the process of doing domestic chores like collecting water and firewood especially when they are sent alone,” the report reads in part.
The report also indicates that 301 children were defiled by suspects who are HIV positive whereas 120 children were defiled by their own biological parents.
According to the report, Katwe Police Division in Kampala at 252 registered the highest number of defilement cases followed by Kamuli at 236, Mbale(230),Buyende(207),Mukono(193), Tororo(188), Buikwe(186), Kiryandongo(185) and Luweero(174) as the top ten districts.
According to the report, 1519 women were reported in the year 2020, a 0.5% increase from 1528 , a number registered in the year 2019.
Other sex related offences
The report that covers the period of January 1, 2020 to December 31, indicated that there were 354 cases of indecent assault , 58 cases of incest and 79 cases of unnatural offences.
Speaking at the launch of the report, the Inspector General of Police, John Martins Okoth Ochola said in the previous annual crime report, police identified some of the challenges in fulfilling their mandate, adding that there was improvement in the year 2020.
“In this 2020 Annual Crime Report, we account for the progress the Institution made in fulfilling its objectives and set out a new crime plan, including how we are to tackle the key priorities. Generally, in the year 2020, there was 8.9% decrease in the volume of crimes reported to Police from 215,224 cases reported in 2019 to 195,931 cases reported in the year 2020,”Ochola said.
He however said the report will allow members of the public understand and analyse the emerging crime trends locally.
“The trends of crimes keep changing with the growing population and rapid development of the country. It highlights crimes that take place especially against women, children and weaker sections of the society and a growing concern for everyone.”
According to Ochola, the Coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent measures like the lockdown exacerbated the matter.
Whereas these are the numbers reported by police, many other cases of defilement and rape remain unreported because of a number of issues including threatening death to victims by the perpetrators.
Many other victims of defilement have seen their caretakers negotiate deals with the suspects and receive money in exchange for dropping of cases.
For women, many fear to report incidents of rape for fear of embarrassment.