Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Acholi sub region registered 1,253 cases of violence against children and women in the first half of this year. Records from the Aswa River police show that there was a sharp rise in cases of violence in Amuru, Gulu, Pader, Agago, Kitgum, Nwoya, Omoro and Lamwo districts between January and June 2021.
They included 106 cases of aggravated defilement, 44 rape cases, 297 simple defilements and 806 domestic violence cases.
David Ongom Mudong, the Aswa River Region police spokesperson told URN that their findings attribute the high cases to the COVID-19 lockdown, which has been characterized by the high level of poverty, closure of all learning institutions, lack of parental guidance and moral decadence among others.
Mudong disclosed that some of the perpetrators were apprehended and arraigned before the court while some of them especially those involved in domestic violence were handled through mediation. Andrew Opiyo, the Aswa River Region Police Community Liaison Officer says that they have stepped up their efforts through community policing and creating awareness on child protection.
Subsequently, the rise in violence against children has also contributed to several cases of teenage pregnancies with an estimated 20,000 cases registered within the last one and half years. The Acholi Paramount Chief David Onen Acana II blames the problem on parental negligence, saying that most parents in the region are not taking proper care of their children especially young girls.
He called for child protection as well as support for one another among partners during moments of hardships.