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Is Sexual abuse a male thing?
According to Rwakafuzi, ours being a patrilineal society, men tend to think the women in the workplaces especially the single ones are theirs to play with. “Men love to think they have a right and control over women.

By Eve Masawi

Alex Mulindwa a Kampala resident, does not believe that there is such a thing as sexual abuse while on the other hand, NTV’s Josephine Karungi says, “she would love to meet a woman who has never been sexually abused.”

So, in the middle of these extremes, we want to ask the question, is sexual abuse a man thing?’’Linda Kibombo a news editor at NTV believes ‘it is a man thing’

Kibombo narrates a story of a former boss at a radio station who summoned her to his office, only to try and steal a kiss from her.

When she told this story to a male workmate, he told her to accept the situation as it was, and give their boss what he wanted.

Why does this keep happening?

Decade after decade, reports, stories and campaigns against sexual abuse have made headlines and grabbed both local and international attention.

In the recent past, #MeToo a campaign by activist Tarana Burke has taken centre stage on Twitter. The campaign calls on victims of sexual abuse to share their stories and views on sexual violence.

Before the #MeToo campaign, Hollywood was rocked by reports that legendary producer Harvey Weinstein had been sexually abusing women in the industry over his three-decade-long career.

So why is it that inspite of so many campaigns, news reports, and massive activism, sexual abuse still persists?

According to Ms Algresia Ogojjo the board Chairperson of MIFUMI a women’s rights Organisation, sexual abuse has rapidly increased and persisted due to lack of policies in workplaces and the fact that it is usually not done openly.

“The victims will fear to speak out due to societal attitudes,” she says.She goes on to say that in workplaces, there are no policies that prohibit sexual harassment, so it keeps happening over and over again.

However, Ladislaus Rwakufuzi a Human Rights lawyer says the rise in sexual abuse is due to the increasing number of women at workplaces.

According to Rwakafuzi, ours being a patrilineal society, men tend to think the women in the workplaces especially the single ones are theirs to play with.“Men love to think they have a right and control over women.  However, it zeros down to the level of education and the law is insufficient.”  He says.

Walter Mwesigye an NTV News anchor says treating sexual abuse as taboo and not something communities are willing to discuss, gives the abusers more power, leading them to believe themselves immune to retribution.

Mwesigye says that if abusers are confronted the first time they attempt to take advantage of a woman, then they will not have room to grow the courage to do it over and over again.

What is the government doing to protect women?

Section 128(3) of the penal code Act, Cap120 says any person who sexually abuses a woman or girl is liable to imprisonment for one year.

But whether or not the government is doing something to protect women and girls, the more women know their rights the more they are able to fight back.