Blood relatives increasingly abusing girls sexually

Victim of sexual abuse
Graphical representation of 19-year-old Hellen Nampijja who shares a painful story of abused trust by a man who she only knew as a father. Courtesy Photo.

Nampijja Hellen walked through the gates of Wakisa Ministries in Bakuli, a Kampala suburb last week in search of solace after a gruesome sexual encounter with her paternal uncle.

She shares a painful story of abused trust by a man who she only knew as a father. Her uncle had been the only parent she ever knew after losing her biological parents at a tender age. She had been in his care for her entire education cycle.

On the fateful day, the  19-year-old, currently in her senior-six vacation, was abused when she came from school, to pick money for completion of her registration process.

Lured by a glass of juice that she believes was dragged, Nampijja only remembers waking up on the floor next to her uncle. Unfortunately for her, she later found herself pregnant from that single sexual encounter.

Nampijja did not report the case to police.

Nampijja studied Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and ICT (PCM/ICT) and scored 18 points in the recently released Uganda Advanced Certificate Examinations (UACE).

She says she wanted to study engineering at Makerere University. However, when she found out that she was pregnant, she was thrown out of the home and her dream of ever becoming an engineer was shattered.

Left with nowhere to go, Nampijja shared her ordeal with two friends who directed her to Wakisa Ministries, where she has begun dreaming again of becoming an engineer.

Now waiting to deliver her baby, Nampijja wants to move on with her life and forget the sad tale.

Another 13 year old girl is facing a similar ordeal. The minor was abused by her brother five times but her parents decided to settle the matter within the family instead of involving the police.

Such is the story of several girls, who are abused by their blood relatives on a daily basis.
According to Vivian Kityo, the director Wakisa Ministries, the teen center has over the last two years received a significant number of girls impregnated at the hands of blood relatives.

“Incest is becoming very common and is on the increase. From January to March, we received 15 cases. That is an increase given that last year we received a total of 40 cases at Wakisa.

Under Section 149 of the Penal Code Act, incest is an offense punishable by 7 years in prison. however, if the other person is below 18 years old, the sentence is life in prison. The section stipulates that a person commits incest if they have sexual intercourse with another person with whom, they are biologically related.

The 2014 Annual Police and Traffic Report shows that in 2014, there was an increase of 25 cases of incest compared to 2013. 57 cases were reported in 2014 and 32 in 2013.

However Kityo says that many of these cases are not reported to police.

Uganda Women’s Network, another organization working for the empowerment of women and girls says that it has recorded up to 13 cases of incest in its office in Namutumba district in Eastern Uganda. Three of these cases were recorded this year alone.