Sexual Violence encompasses a wide range of human rights violations which include rape, defilement, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, human trafficking, harmful traditional practices, female genital mutilation, forced and coerced sterilization, sexual slavery, forced abortions, forced pregnancies, sexual exploitation or coercion. All of these can and do result in many negative consequences for human health and well-being .
Sexual violence (SV) is common during war and in post-conflict setting worldwide. In post-conflict Northern Uganda, both nationals and South Sudanese refugee men and women have experienced sexual violence, sometimes witnessed by their own children, spouses, close relatives and neighbours. It is a pressing global challenge because it violates human rights, deters economic and social development. Scholars have focused attention on victims primarily being women and girls but emerging evidence is proving such scholars wrong. For example, Refugee Law Project Working Paper 25 of August 2017 highlights the nature and different forms of SV experienced by victims in Northern Uganda and notes that men and boys including women and girls are victims of Sexual Violence. The paper further states that victims are not adequately protected despite guaranteed international, regional and national legal frameworks established by various states to promote and protect victims of sexual violence, and restore families and community. In Uganda, there has been increasing concern among some humanitarian organizations about the definition of rape in the Penal Code Act, as it does not protect male victims of rape and is thus a challenge to men and boy victims of sexual violence.
These gaps therefore call for key players such as the Uganda Police Force, to effectively respond to different forms of sexual violence and critically improve on their roles to maintain and enforce the laws of Uganda; taking statements, summoning suspects, conducting thorough medical examinations, investigations and documentations, court procedures, security, counseling, referrals, cooperation with the community and other security organs established under the constitution to detect and prevent such crimes while protecting human rights.