National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda had a chance to interact with the Uganda Police officials of Apac and Koboko to ascertain if the legal channels of redress when it comes to mitigating Gender Based Violence in the two districts were clearly defined.
During the exchange; the officials were forthcoming and informed National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda that;
Many expect immediate handling of their cases in disregard of the procedures set down of investigation, testing the evidence given before police carries out any arrests
Many don’t report back in case needed to finalize the files by furnishing extra information needed
The challenge of Sign language where those who know it can’t communicate with the police who are ignorant yet some times those deaf WWDs who report cases also don’t know Sign Language even if police hired a professional Sign Language interpreter hence being a dilemma
There are cases of Women with Disabilities who are equally a problem to themselves like they are drunkards, irresponsible and easily fall prey to criminals e.g rape
Many times when cases are reported by the care givers/ parents especially for the severely disabled Women with Disabilities they have motivation of getting money than justice and most times they want to negotiate for settling the case out of court making police look like accomplices
Some parents/ relatives of victims who are Women with Disabilities force them to make extra statements even against their will
The law/ penal code which guides the implementation of justice in the country is equally challenging, when a case of rape is reported to police for a Girl with Disabilities who is 24 it’s a problem to correctly ascertain whether it was force or consent because she may not be fully able to bring it out. Secondly NUWODU teaches us they have a right to love and having children. Age 24 is the age of consent hence brother/ relatives may be interested in getting money from the poor man and accuses him of rape.
In the same breath there is a challenge of language usage in the penal code which limits some disabilities in accessing justice especially the mental health, deaf blind and learning disability
Sometimes the Women with Disabilities expect transport back to their homes from police which is not available