Defiled, threatened and neglected: Misery of a twelve-year- old girl and how Kitovu Mobile helped her overcome

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From left is Teddy (Care taker), Kitovu Mobile DREAMS-OVC social worker,an official at OKOA and Namakula (standing ) being received at OKOA offices in Masaka were she safely lives

By Moses Muwulya,Communications Officer
Through a para social worker (PSW), Kitovu Mobile got to know of a twelve-year-old girl who had been defiled. The victim lived with care takers, Nakalema Teddy and her spouse, James Mukasa, the generous couple that gave her refugee after her biological father, Henry Mukiibi chased her from home.

Swiftly, Kitovu Mobile together with the PSW, Joan Ndibalekera and her care givers took the girl to Ssunga HCIII for medication as she complained of pain in the chest and private parts.
At the facility, it was established that she was defiled. With such solid evidence, this called for opening up a case at Police.

However, the victim’s care givers never wanted to report the case at police neither taking a statement. They feared reprisal and public ridicule as this was not the first time. The girl had already appeared at police over similar instances after she was on several times defiled by her grandfather, a one Joseph Sango whom she was staying Sango, who regrettably infected her with HIV, was since imprisoned at Masaka prison. She was a known ART client at Ssunga HCIII and thus advised not to give her PREP.

But after being counseled by the social worker, the care givers accepted to file a case at Police
Consequently, a case was opened up at Kako Police Post. The project facilitated the police with transport to effect the arrest of the perpetrator and this was finally successful. Transport was also provided to the OC CID to visit the scene of crime as part of the investigations necessary for a meaningful path to seek justice.
Police did medical examinations at Police HCIII witnessed by one Abel a member of the CFPU at Masaka Central Police.

The medical examination conducted had confirmed that the young girl was actually defiled.
Namakula is on ART and also not willing to take her medication as drugs a visibly littered in her bed room
As Kitovu Mobile/RHSP OVC-DREAMS project, we supported the victim and the care giver with the required psychosocial support as a way of helping the family to overcome trauma.

However, after such a positive development, a sad development emerged. Namakula received threats from relatives to the perpetrator. This turn of events piled fear on her care givers, making them not willing to stay with Namakula any longer.This necessitated Namakula to have a safer place. Our first option have her reunite with her mother who relocated to Ishaka in Bushenyi District. However, ZaituniKyampaire was not willing to stay with her daughter in her new marriage. She requested that the girl goes to goes to her grandmother who stays in Fortal Portal.

But For portal being very far from Masaka, this option would cut short the pursuance of justice as the victim will time and again be required to provide evidence in courts of law once the RSA okays the process.
We resorted to the first plan of having her stay with her mother. Several phone calls were made to Kyampaire to come and pick her daughter but our efforts were fruitless.
We then resorted to the option of seeking for shelter from Okoa a partner in GBV fight located at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital.

Through the probations officer, Joan was offered a shelter with the OKOA refuge. The social worker also managed to secure a transfer of Joan’s ART file from Suunga Health Centre to Masaka Regional Referral (TASO) facility.
We discussed with the concerned staff at OKOA about a pending case with the Masaka central police and we were promised that a company lawyer would interest himself with it and pursue it to the end.
Reuniting Joan with family members was not possible since the biological mother refused to show up even though the project promised to provide her with all the required transport. The victim required a shelter away from the threats coming from the villagers.

We are happy she is now in safe hands, she gets her drugs, the case is also is being pursued to ensure justice and above all, she is free from threats. The care giver and the victim have also been supported with transport to and from the police to follow up on the case. The coordinator has since visited to family to offer the required psychosocial support to avert the stigma that the victim is going through.