The Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD) in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) yesterday launched SafePal, an application that allows Sexual Gender Based Violence -SGBV victims to report their dilemma confidentially in the districts of Kabale and Rukiga.
Launching the application at Kabale District Rukiiko Hall in Kabale District and at Rukiga District Council Hall in Mparo Town Council, Rukiga District, the Communication and Advocacy Officer at the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, Sunday Alex Basheija said that SafePal will be able to close the gap on the many SGBV related cases that have gone unreported for many years due to the confidentiality it provides to the victim and thereby eliminating stigma.
Basheija said that the victims of SGBV can use the application to report to authorities without exposing their identities until a point where one might need physical support like counseling.
According to Basheija, to access the application one needs a smart phone and they download it from Google Play Store for installation on the phone. He said that the app also enables the user to help another person who needs support by contacting the support center on their behalf.
He added that while confidentiality is on top of their priority, follow up of the victims is always done by the case managers who assess one’s condition to decide whether they require safe shelter and legal redress in order to keep them safe.
The acting Kabale District Health Officer (DEO) Alfred Besigensi and the Rwamucucu Sub County LCV Councilor, Eddie Mugisha who represented the District Chairperson Alexander Kampikaho said that the application will allow women and girls to report cases without their characters being questioned or judged by the public.
The application was developed in 2015 as a result of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) where 80 participants from over 20 countries met in Kampala to develop and devise the most innovative mobile app to promote Sexual and Reproductive Health.
According to the UNHCR Protection 2019 Report, physical assault (32%) and rape (25%) are the two most prevalent forms of such violence in the country in Uganda.
The Kigezi Region has been in the news over domestic violence with a retired head teacher and former Chairman of the Uganda National Farmers Association (UNFA) getting arrested over beating up, and torturing his 52 year old wife.