The International Conference on Great Lakes Region- ICGLR has
asked the government to introduce a compensation fund for victims of Sexual
Gender-Based Violence- SGBV.
The Organisation says that
several victims develop health complications after undergoing abuse and can’t
afford to seek medical assistance due to financial constraints.
Dora Kanabahika, a lead consultant at the ICGLR Regional Training Facility says
that it is not enough for government to prosecute the perpetrators and abandon
Kanabahika says as victims seek justice in courts of law, they should also be
given a stimulus package.
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Kanabahika says that the government needs to adopt an integral
model of dealing with survivors and perpetrators of SGBV such that the victims’ psycho-social, economic and legal needs are all catered for.
Last year, ICGLR through its Regional Training Facility on
prevention and Suppression of SGBV conducted a study in 2020 in which they found
that services offered to survivors of SGBV are scattered and that there was no
systematic way of offering all the needed services.
Kanabahika gave an example of organisations that offer counselling
services to victims but do not offer mental health even when it is needed. She
says the government should establish one-stop centres where victims of SGBV are
rehabilitated and later compensated before being reintroduced into society.
The Acting Commissioner Sexual and Children Offences Department of
Police Rose-Mary Nalubega say when victims are compensated, it might reduce the
levels at which parents and guardians negotiate with child offenders and
frustrate prosecution in exchange for money.
She says cases of SGBV involving children are rarely prosecuted
because parents and guardians negotiate with perpetrators to the detriment of
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Nalubega also says that government needs to expedite the process
of enacting witness protection laws to shield witnesses and victims of SGBV.
Francis Ogwang, a trainer in suppression and prevention of SGBV
says that government also needs to introduce a stimulus package for
perpetrators such that as they come out of prison, they are encouraged to work,
earn and lead a decent life.
He also emphasized the need to offer counselling to perpetrators while
in prison such that they not only serve sentences but come back as reformed
people. He says several perpetrators return to commit the same crimes for which
they were arrested because they were not offered psycho-social support.
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According to the 2020 Annual Police Crime Report, 17,664 cases of
Domestic Violence were reported by police compared to 13,693 reported in 2019
hence an increase of 29 percent.