Post by Dami Omole
“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed.”Psalm 82:3 (NIV)
This semester, I had the great opportunity to work on a project for the International Justice Mission (IJM) Uganda.
IJM works actively to defend and protect women and children affected by violence. Specifically, protecting children from defilement.
Moreover, IJM focuses on working with community representatives of justice, police, and courts. In order to provide support, investigate crimes, and handle cases dealing with rescuing women and children from violence.
Some of my research for the project involved cases of defilement, attempted defilement, and aggravated defilement. The alarming number of defilement cases strongly indicates the need for more advocacy for young children who are sadly victims of defilement.
Defilement in Uganda can be broadly defined as sex crimes against juveniles. It is when an adult has sex with a girl under 18 years. Most of the defilement cases show that most of the victims of defilement are very young girls, some as young as four years old.
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Nearly all the cases involved relatives and close members of society.
For example, young schoolgirls are defiled by teachers, neighbors, and in some horrific cases, fathers.
Consequently, defilement of young girls leads to severe consequences such as unwanted pregnancies, the transmission of sexual diseases, and trauma.
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Further, poverty plays a significant role in defilement cases. Most of the communities that have high defilement cases are poor. This creates room for young girls to be easily tempted with money or simple goods like candy. Other issues such as access to justice and lack of birth certificates have made it difficult to litigate defilement cases.
What Can be Done?
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To combat the issue of defilement, the government, and social institutions such as the school need to spread awareness on the subject.
Young girls need to be educated about their rights and be informed about the rules and regulations that protect them.
The police should be trained to quickly recognize defilement cases and take steps to get timely examination reports and evidence.
The government and community should also invest in programs that help protect victims and witnesses. These issues are serious and impact other areas of society.
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In conclusion, it is crucial that we protect young children and ensure that their rights and innocence are protected. It is crucial that we continue protecting children from defilement.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Student Staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.