APRIL 25, 2010: Boda Cyclists Top Sexual Violence List

 Boda Cyclists Top Sexual Violence List

SOURCE: New Vision

By Catherine Bekunda

Kampala — MOTOR-cyclists commonly known as 'boda-boda men', have been named the top perpetuators of sexual violence in a study conducted by Action for Development (ACFODE).

The study was conducted in the districts of Pallisa and Kisoro.

The cyclists were followed by businessmen, married men, sportsmen, fathers, teachers, peers and herdsmen.

The report explained that in some cases, the teachers befriend the girls' parents, pretending to help the pupils academically.

The report further noted that boda-boda men offer lifts and money to pupils in exchange for sex and also rape their female passengers at night.

The forms of sexual violence mentioned include defilement, rape, incest and sexual harassment.

Other abuses are putting mirrors in between girls' legs while in class and at assembly, use of vulgar language, and forced marriages.

The respondents named offices, staff quarters, water points, bushy paths, areas where coaching programmes are conducted and friends' homes as places where sexual violence takes place.

Dr. Florence Muhanguzi, an official of ACFODE, while presenting the report, noted that sexual violence has far-reaching and devastating effects on the victim, the family, the community and the Government.

She noted that victims experience emotional, psychological and social consequences.

These, Muhanguzi said, present in the form of reproductive health complications, fistula and sexually transmitted diseases.

The report also noted that sexual violence leads to school dropouts, thus ruining the future of the victims.

The respondents noted that the performance of pupils is affected and if the vice is experienced by an older person, there is uncertainty of the welfare of the victim and her children.

District officials in Pallisa attributed early pregnancies to sexual violence.

In Pallisa, 75% of the teachers believe poor performance of pupils is caused by sexual violence while for Kisoro, the figure is 82%.

The report also revealed that apart from humiliating the victims, the community views the cases as none of their business.