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Other words to mean sexual crime can be sexual violence, sexual assault, or sexual abuse. According to the World Health Organization, it defines sexual violence or a sexual crime is any sexual act; attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments, or acts to traffic against a person’s sexuality using force by a person regardless of their relationship to the victim. And it does not matter which setting it is but not limited to home and work.

Women and girls experience more sexual violence at a high rate. But also men do experience it although they do not talk. Places like refugee camps, homes, schools, offices, and isolated areas are bleeding areas.

The COVID-19 outbreak led to the increase of sexual violence in Uganda leading to an increased HIV exposure in national data and also increased Gender-Based Violence during COVID-19. As the use of PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) decreased they were unable able to assess it during COVID-19. And the increase of teenage pregnancy among Ugandan females due to sexual crime.

What are some of the sexual crimes in Uganda?

Committed sexual crimes/ violence are as listed below;

  • Rape; refers to sexual intercourse against a person’s will. These cases increased during the pandemic as around 860 girls reported sexual violence in Uganda. The punishment of rape in Uganda is death for a person who commits rape is death. And the one who attempts to commit rape commits a felony faces life imprisonment for life. This is with or without corporal punishment.
  • Marital rape is an act of sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without the spouse’s consent. Although in marriage sex intercourse is regarded as a right, it is regarded as rape if it is without the partner’s consent.
  • Domestic violence refers to violence in a home. This may include physical, sexual, and psychological violence.
  • Indecent communication: this is sending a sexual written communication intentionally, verbal communication to someone else without their consent.
  • Sexual exploitation refers to actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, power, or trust for sexual purposes.
  • Unnatural offenses
  • Defilement refers to any sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 18 years old.
  • Aggravated defilement refers to having sexual intercourse with underage and when the offender has HIV/AIDS. And the offender is a victim’s parent or guardian.
  • Procuring defilement refers to the involvement of children under the age of 16 years in prostitution.
  • Sexual offense by children is where an adult or adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation.
  • Supply of sexual content and material to a child

Sexual crimes increase in Uganda.

There is an increase in sexual crimes in Uganda and COVID-19 has flued to it. Below are some of the reasons why they are on a rise.

The increased use of drugs by the youth in Uganda has led to an increase in sexual crimes.  Drugs for example cocaine, shisha, cigarettes, marijuana, mairungi, and alcoholic drinks. These drugs have disorganized the youth’s brains. Sexually active at a tender age. And when dined access to sex they may decide to go the hard way hence committing a crime.

Delayed justice; The cases of rape take a long time in courts without punishing the offender. And yet the evidence is provided. This has led to an increase of people raping since the tries take long or given not charged.

Some victims of rape fear reporting to the police or authorities in fear of stigma.  So many women, girls, and men fear to speak up. This is due to fear of what people will say about them and society. This limits police and other authorities to act as required.

The high rate of unemployment has contributed to the criminal minds in people. Very many people have nothing to do or even something to take their mind. As the say goes “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop”

The media has also contributed to sexual crimes due to the constant display of explicit content leading to moral decay. The type of movies for example pornography, music videos that the people see include the youth and children. These have corrupted their mind into involving themselves in sexual acts.

What should be done to reduce the sexual crimes in Uganda?

Sexual crime in Uganda needs to be stopped. To create a better place for people.

All sexual assailants should be taken to courts of law without delays as soon as possible. And remember justice delayed is justice denied.

The government should mobilize, sensitize and educate the people in the communities and country. This is to help them know their rights. And the right people to run to in case something of a like happens to them. It should also follow up referral pathways; investigate every single case report quickly and effectively.

Governments should set up rehabilitation centers for rape and sexual assault victims. This is to support survivors emotionally and mentally so that they may have their life back.

Strict laws and updated policies; The policies and laws should now include boys and men as they are also at risk as women and girls.

To conclude, sexual crimes in Uganda can be ended when we join hands with the government, the non-governmental organizations like Love Uganda Foundation, and Volunteering in Uganda to end this. Let’s help one another and those who are victims to p0ut to justice the offenders and discourage stigma.

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