“If you thought seeking for Post Rape Care services was abit complex, try surviving Sexual abuse while living with HIV.” Quoted one of the participants during the 2 days Advocacy Messages Development Workshop aimed at promoting the benefits of accessing Post Rape Care Services in the first 72 hours of the insignificant act. This particular activity was organized by Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum in partnership with Together for Girls, a UN, Government and Private Sector partnership in ending Violence against Children.
Our generation is constantly told of how much speed in our actions could lead to poor choices and life consequences, barely did we know that the same speed would define the matter of life better yet, the well-being of majority Young African Girls who have grown up in the not so much civil and protected environments. Yes, we face so many challenges, however the way we overcome them becomes more key.
Question is, are you informed enough to save yourself or someone close to you?
We many times, idolize our values and egos and forget that lives are at stake, we rather turn a blind eye than face head-on challenges our daughters, nieces, cousins, mothers and wives face on a daily. Reason being, there is so much blind faith we’ve comprehended for a long time even what we all get in return is more tests and life lessons.
When unforeseen circumstances happen in our lives, we always get choices to make, however, lets not forget that there are those that don’t get the opportunity nor the chances to make these choices, reason being, such misfortunes happen to us not because we deserve it, but maybe only the universe could be able to answer why. Otherwise, we would not only be passing on judgement to all survivors of all forms of violence particularly sexual violence but also, we would be endorsing such acts.
What you see as survival, we call it courage, bravity, strength, resilience, purpose and transformation. Somehow, we are getting to terms with the saying, nothing happens without conscience. Well, what would the world look like if we lived without experiences?
Anyway, going back to the main discussion, Sexual Gender Based Violence,
What do we have to do, if we found ourselves in the wrong places but at the right time?
This is where the #EveryHourMatters Campaign needs to be supported and extended as further as the last corner of the world where an adolescent girl lives because; like it or not, ending Sexual Gender Based Violence wont sound like one of those Presidential directives, that must be immediately enforced. This also directly translates to the fact that many more cases are most likely to rise each and every day. The best tool against such atrocities would be to provide adequate and conclusive information on how to maintain as many healthy adolescent lives as possible.
Once we’ve experienced such a night mare, i.e we’ve been forcefully engaged into sexual intercourse even with the most trusted person, we must be in position to move as fast as possible while seeking for guidance from a qualified health worker before the first 72 hours of this act. This is the most crucial period when so much change on our bodies and health could happen and therefore, however we choose to spend it becomes very key. Post rape care services should be a right for every young person exposed to forced sexual intercourse, that way a balance in rendering Human rights is stricken not only by the power of the law, but also by the power beyond our human sight.
Speed in this manner, metaphorically becomes an eye-opener to the many don’ts and no’s we’ve been told growing up to specifically weigh down our capabilities in leadership. There couldn’t be any better timing for such a campaign as it not only informed accurate interaction with survivors of Sexual Gender Based Violence, but it also significantly rendered them power to claim and own their spaces, a rare act recognized in Youth Movements. Young Women must continue challenging these cultural barriers limiting the necessary change communities require to move from one wave to another.
As we sign-out, dear esteemed readers, follow the campaign #EveryHourMattersUg to identify some of those key advocacy messages that have been developed to promote post Rape Care as well as Universal Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights for key target audiences like Adolescent Girls and Young Women living in Ghetto areas, Community REActors, Policy Makers, Health Workers and the Key Population. Being identified as Key stakeholders in promoting Adolescent Health, the future of the Girl-Child lies and depends on how much effort we are investing in such self-less acts. Together we are bound to create the change we want to see in African Communities. Remember, its only recognized as change if it starts with you!