At least 51,168 girls were defiled between 2014 and 2017 according to statistics from Uganda Police’s Child and Family Protection Unit (CFPU).
The breakdown shows that 6,960 cases were recorded in 2014, 5,581 in 2015 and 5,707 in 2016. The statistics also show that the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) registered 14,985 and 17,935 defilement cases in 2017 and 2016 respectively.
Although the CFPU report doesn’t show the areas with the highest and lowest defilement cases, a report released by CID in 2018 lists Lira, Mbale, Gulu, Kibuku, Serere, Kamuli, Mubende, Buyende, Mayuge, Arua and Dokolo as the areas with the highest number of defilement cases.
Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, says most girls fall victim to sexual abuse during holidays at the hands of the people they live with in homes, communities and their relatives.
Police have since highlighted indicative signs of sexual abuse and urged parents to be conversant with them so that they can help their children before it is too late.
“A child might not verbally tell you that they have been abused, but they may say or do things that provide some clues. Some behavioral signs of child sexual abuse may include unexplained accumulation of money or gifts, disorderly eating or preoccupation with body,” Enanga says.
The other signs to look out for include aggression, property destruction, drug abuse, excessive compliance or a desire to be overly obedient, lack of confidence, persistent sexual themes in drawing, stories and plays among others.
Enanga says some parents have abandoned their children in their homes and don’t respond to their needs.