Source: The Citizen
A local organisation in Muleba District is running a unique programme in Nshamba Division to equip young girls with self-defence techniques for use against being sexually abused.

The training module, not only consists of a legal aspect against defilers, but also men's fragile and most sensitive parts of their bodies that victims can either fix firmly or hit in order to keep assaulters at bay.

The programme being operated by an organisation called Kwa Wazee, follows a specialised course for trainers carried out by experts from Switzerland and The Netherlands.

The coordinator of the organisation's child department, Ms Joanitha Joseph, told The Citizen yesterday: "The idea for the self-defence programme was mooted in response to rampant incidents of rape and sexual violence against young girls in the area."

Ms Joanitha said tales about rampant incidents of sexual violence against young girls were unveiled during psycho-social support sessions with the elderly and members of child-headed families who receive assistance from the organisation.

She said judging from children's testimonies given during such sessions, most were defiled when they were as young as five years old. However, they could not reveal the injustices to their parents and/or guardians because they feared being punished or stigmatised.

She said because of the problem, the organisation initiated a self-defence programme for girls who, according to testimonies, were the most affected by sexual violence.

The coordinator said over 320 children from six wards of Nshamba were recruited and trained in self-defence skills. As a result there has been a considerable decline in incidents of sexual violence since the programme started, she noted.

According to the organisation's information unveiled during an exclusive interview with The Citizen, girls succumbed to rape because they were not strong enough to battle it out with their villains, what with lavish presents or pledges of social support.

Ms Joanitha said statistics showed that among 85 children who received the particular training in one of the wards, about 40 had been raped. Almost half of them had surrendered to their villains' sexual demands for one reason or other.

During the self-defence training that was formally designed for girls between 11 and 16 years, various issues were taught both in theory and practice. They comprised techniques of counterattack.

Others included enabling a girl to be aware of her biological weakness and strength which she could employ against sexual assault.

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