Kiryandongo is among the top 10 districts in Uganda where high cases of defilement were registered last year.
According to the annual crime police report, Kiryandongo had 185 cases of defilement recorded while Katwe Police Division in Kampala registered the highest number of defilement cases at 252.
This was followed by Kamuli with 236, Mbale with 230, Buyende with 207, Mukono with 193, Tororo with 188, Buikwe with 186, followed by Kiryandongo while Luweero registered 174 cases.
The police report released today (Monday), indicates that in total 14,230 girls were defiled translating into 3.8 per cent increase from 13,613 defilement cases reported in 2019.
Of the 14,230 defilement cases, 9,954 victims were between the age of 15 and 17 whereas 2,986 were between the age of 14 and nine and 1,280 were below the age of eight.
“The category of 15 – 17 years, are mainly victims of defilement due to some cultural norm still practiced where girls who have developed breasts are considered ready for marriage. These defilement cases are also due to adolescent age where many young girls are taken advantage of whereas some of the girls are defiled in the process of doing domestic chores like collecting water and firewood especially when they are sent alone,” the report reads in part.
The report also indicates that 301 children were defiled by suspects who were HIV positive whereas 120 children were defiled by their own biological parents.
The report also indicates that 1,519 women were raped last year which is a 0.5 per cent increase from 1,528, a number registered in 2019.
Other sex related offences
The report that covers the period of January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021 indicated that there were 354 cases of indecent assault, 58 cases of incest and 79 cases of unnatural offences.
Launching the report, John Martin Okoth Ochola, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), said in the previous annual crime report, police identified some of the challenges in fulfilling their mandate, adding that there was improvement last year.
“In this 2020 Annual Crime Report, we account for the progress the institution made in fulfilling its objectives and set out a new crime plan including how we are to tackle the key priorities. Generally, in the year 2020, there was 8.9% decrease in the volume of crimes reported to police from 215,224 cases reported in 2019 to 195,931 cases reported in the year 2020,” Mr Ochola said.
However, he said the report will allow members of the public understand and analyse the emerging crime trends locally.
“The trends of crimes keep changing with the growing population and rapid development of the country. It highlights crimes that take place especially against women, children and weaker sections of the society and a growing concern for everyone.”
The IGP said that the Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent measures like the lockdown exacerbated the matter.
Whereas these are the numbers reported by police, many other cases of defilement and rape remain unreported because of a number of issues including threatening death to victims by the perpetrators.
Many other victims of defilement have seen their caretakers negotiate deals with the suspects and receive money in exchange for dropping of cases.
For women, many fear to report incidents of rape for fear of embarrassment.