As the world commemorated the World day for the Prevention of, and healing for Child Sexual Exploitation, abuse and Violence, we joined other members of Brave Movement for an open conversation with University Students hosted by Raising Teenagers Uganda 

The aim was to have a conversation with universityty students on how to address issues of sexual violence in institutions of Higher Learning. In a more extensive discussion, university students shared the extent to which sexual violence including “Sex for Marks” affects many students and the urgent need for implementation of policies and strategies to address this problem.

Student Leaders were given the opportunity to share what they are doing as leaders to ensure that the policies in place to prevent and respond to sexual violence cases are implemented. It was observed that many students fear to report cases of sexual violence for fear of humiliation and embarrassment which puts their lives at risk. Some of the students indicated that they can’t report to student leaders for fear of judgement and criticism. They called upon the Leaders to be friendly and accommodative so that the affected students can find to easy to open up and report.

A student Leader from Makerere University GRC shared aboutt the existing online platform when students can report cases and seek Justice. The platform is called KISH – Kicking Sexual Violence out of Higher Institutions of Learning. This project is supported by the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)

Some of the students shared their stories and they are stories to change the future of other students for a greater good. One of the stories was for a student who missed graduating because she couldn’t give in to the sexual demands from a lecturer who had promised to adjust her marks in exchange for sex. And while she missed graduation, she is happy that she couldn’t sell herself for marks.

The is however urgent need to create opportunities and planforms for such students to speak up and report cases of sexual abuse so that other students can be saved. The need to NAME &SHAME the Lecturers that are making life difficult for students should be brought to light so that another generation can be saved.

The BE BRAVE EVENT was also a Safe Space to share how Students can protect themselves.

  • Students were encouraged to be informed about the definition of sexual harassment so that they can protect themselves.
  • Students should get information about the institutional policies regarding sexual harassment and safeguarding.
  • Take an active role in fostering and creating environments free from sexual harassment.
  • Look out for trainings on sexual harassment prevention.
  • Report cases of sexual harassment to your supervisor immediately, or to a higher

authority if your supervisor is the harasser. 

Never be afraid to report a comment, action, or gesture by somebody that made you feel uncomfortable.

  • Where possible, speak with the individual directly and inform him or her that you feel that kind of behaviour is inappropriate.
  • Seek support from family members, friends, colleagues, Dean of studies or Vice

chancellor’s office.

  • Document the harassment in writing as soon as possible.

The students were also informed about Immediate response in case they are assaulted or raped.

    Do not wash or bath as the action will erase the evidence.

    Report to police immediately and If in danger call police 991.

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