Draru first encountered her rapist, a man he knew as a family friend when she was a class four pupil. He wrestled her to the ground and defiled her. When she reported the incident to her parents, they blamed her for it. She immediately stopped going to school thinking that she would die soon as she was told that the person who had raped her was already on HIV treatment.
She was raped for the second time in June 2018, after she had started operating a food joint to earn a living waking up as early as 5 am and return home past 9 pm. She only managed to identify the rapist with the help of her neighbours after describing how he was dressed.
When the second rapist was identified the two families decided to settle the matter peacefully only for Draru to realise later that she was heavily pregnant. Her parents asked her whether the pregnancy was as a result of the second rape or it was someone else.
“I told them I had not engaged in any sexual activity except when I was raped. They took me to the man’s home and his parents accepted to take care of me. I started living with them until I gave birth,” she said.
When she gave birth, her child was born weak as she did not have money to pay for health facilities. Although she is already on HIV treatment, Draru said sometimes she gets angry and abandons the drugs since she could die any time. She regretted that in both incidents she didn’t report to police because she was never supported by her parents.
“I wish my rapist could be arrested and killed. I would be happy if they are arrested. They raped me and ran away. I am now suffering from HIV. They are enjoying life,” Draru said.
Statistics show 201 girls were defiled by people living with HIV in 2018, 115 were defiled by guardians, ninety-five pupils by their teachers, 90 secondary school students by teachers, 90 girls with disabilities were defiled and 84 girls by their biological parents.
Child rights activists have put the blame to lack of comprehensive police on Sexuality, Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) that would empower girls with appropriate information on how to deal with sexual advances.
“Inadequate response to these occurrences contribute to a lot of the reproductive health indicators that remain unacceptably high for example; the ever-increasing cases of teenage pregnancy and HIV prevalence amongst young people,” said Reach a Hand Uganda (RAHU) Strategy and Business Development Manager
“From the smallest unit to the larger institutions like schools and churches, young people are being encouraged to abstain, maintain moral turpitude, but that is not enough. Young people need more information about how to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexual violence,” said Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURDA) research and documentation manager.