Prosecutors of GBV cases seek psychosocial support

Speaker of Parliament Anita Among (left) and Tororo Woman MP Sarah Opendi dress Kasilo County’s Elijah Okupa with an orange bowtie during the launch of the 16 days of activism against GBV at Parliament on November 23, 2022. PHOTO/DAVID LUBOWA 

What you need to know:

  • Speaker Among said increased awareness of the laws and backing institutions fighting GBV would help in lessening cases.

State prosecutors handling cases involving sexual violence and crime have called upon government to provide them with psychosocial support.

Ms Samali Wakooli, the assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said some of her colleagues have ended up in Butabika Hospital after being traumatised by the sexual violence cases they prosecute almost on a daily basis.

“As government thinks of supporting victims of gender based violence (GBV), they should also look those prosecuting these cases. A number of my colleagues have ended up in Butabika and yet psychosocial support would have saved them,” Ms Wakooli, who is also the head of Gender, Children and Sexual Offences, said.

She was speaking in Kampala yesterday during a dialogue organised by Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD)  to track the progress of GBV cases in the country.

Ms Wakooli added: “On average, I peruse through 10 GBV files daily and 50 files in a criminal session. So when I go back home, I don’t want to see any male figure near my daughters, not that they are rapists but because of perusing through those files, we imagine they are, yet they are not.”

This comes as the 16 days of activism against GBV start tomorrow. This is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.

Speaking at the same event, Kigulu South MP Milton Muwuma said the 16 days of activism campaign should not only be on the girl child and women but also the boys and men, who get battered at home.
Ms Wakooli confirmed that they also get male victims of GBV.

“The other day, I received a male victim of GBV and since we don’t have government shelters and more particularly to accommodate men, I was stuck on where to put him,” she said.

Relatedly, MPs yesterday joined the campaign against GBV held under the global theme, ‘Unite! Activism to End Violence against Women and Girls.’

The parliamentary activities, which were organised under the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), began in the morning, with the Speaker, Ms Anita Among, first launching the campaign and later steering a debate on the same in the House.

Ms Among said increased awareness of the laws and backing institutions fighting GBV would help in lessening cases.

The Speaker also touched on the essence of obedience in women. “But some women are also big-headed. We need to be submissive irrespective of your positions,” Ms Among said.

In her statement to the House, Ms Betty Amongi, the minister of Gender, said: “The annual campaign serves as a call to action to ensure that comprehensive services including protection, medical, legal and psychosocial services are available to survivors of gender-based violence.”