By Emmanuel Omona PaOkech
The police officer in charge of crimes in Gulu district has cautioned parents to avoid sending their daughters late in the night saying that they risk being defiled.
James Asubu sounded the warning this morning while talking to a team of journalists in Gulu town.
Asubu’s warning comes at a time when the police are investigating circumstances under which a 16 year old school girl was allegedly defiled by a 34 year old man.
Asubu identified the suspect as Eric Odwong, a resident of Lakwatome parish in Koro Sub County.
Asubu said that the parents of the girl suspect their daughter to be pregnant following the defilement.
Asubu also notes that an investigation into the matter is ongoing and adds that they have preferred the charges of defilement and threatening violence on the minor.
According to official figures, 7,690 cases of defilement were reported to the police in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.
There is a lot of stigma surrounding defilement, especially since family members and people close to the victims often do it. Most cases therefore go unreported. Yet even if you disregard the unreported cases, the figures show that 21 girls are defiled in Uganda every day.
Another 520 cases of defilement – most, if not all of them with women as victims – were reported in 2011. Again many victims choose to suffer in silence and did not report the cases.