Jinja. Most persons with disabilities (PWDs) in eastern Uganda are sexually abused, a research conducted by a UK-based community development organisation, Advantage Africa, has shown.
The research was conducted by the organisation in Eastern Uganda and Kenya since 2013 with funding from the Foundation for Applied Disability Research Organisation.
The most common forms of sexual abuse cited are rape, incest in homes and men impregnating female PWDs, and abandoning them later.
The report was released last week by the organisation’s programme manager, Mr Robert Ley, during a PWD stakeholders’ meeting at the National Council for Disability offices in Ntinda, Kampala.
“This problem is even higher than the indicated figures because many of the cases committed in homes are not reported,” he said.
He attributed the magnitude of the problem to lack of respect for PWDs, exploitation, the wrong perception that they do not have HIV, relaxed laws against the abusers and belief that having sex with them could lead to increase in one’s wealth. During discussion of the findings, the Country Director of Action for Disability and Development International in Uganda, Mr Joseph Walugembe, accused some women of taking advantage of male PWDs.
“While on an HIV identification campaign for PWDs in Mayuge District, I met an HIV-infected disabled man. I was told that physically-capable women in the village had been having sex with him but do not want to marry him,” he said.
The chairperson of the National Council for Disability, Mr Chandria Onzuma, called for concerted efforts in pushing for the enforcement of laws to ensure reduction in the number of cases of abuse.