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DPP Calls for Shield Law for Rape Victims, Witnesses

DPP Mike Chibita says victims of rape, defilement and child molestation should be able to testify in courts of law without being identified, seen or recognized. He says such a mechanism will boost public confidence in judicial processes and encourage more people to testify against perpetrators of sexual offenses.
08 Jul 2016 12:11
DPP Mike Chibita says that many sexual violence victims have not got justice

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Uganda needs a law to shield victims and witnesses in sexual related offenses against exposure during criminal proceedings, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mike Chibita has said.

Chibita says victims of rape, defilement and child molestation should be able to testify in courts of law without being identified, seen or recognized. He says such a mechanism will boost public confidence in judicial processes and encourage more people to testify against perpetrators of sexual offenses.

Chibita added that the absence of such a law weakens the successful prosecution of sexual offenses.

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Innocent Balemba Zahinda, a team leader of the United Nations Rule of Law Experts calls for political commitment in protecting victims and witnesses of sexual violence. He adds that in countries where the law is in place, all the parties involved such as the doctors, judges are also offered protection.

He also calls for the recognition of men as victims of sexual violence.

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Sara Longwe, a feminist from Zambia notes that many of the victims of sexual violence have not had a fair hearing because of a misconception that it is normal for women to be sexually assaulted.

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The deliberations were made during a three day conference organized by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region-ICGLR that attracted more than 20 countries. The conference is aimed at countries sharing their experiences in managing and handling sexual violence cases.

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