The Girls At Risk Program is designed to offer relief and support services to girls who have experienced emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. We provide individual and group counseling, emergency planning, and information and referral services to girls who have experienced defilement, atrocities during the war in northern Uganda, physical violence, sexual assault, and torture. Our staff is trained to support girls who have experienced abuse, as well as helping girls at risk of abuse to find safe alternatives. In situations where survivors need specialized services to secure healing and justice, we make referrals to our partners in the legal and medical field. The Girls At Risk Program currently gives hope and rehabilitation to more than 1,000 girls around the country – and counting!
Engaging Men and Boys in the Prevention of Sexual Violence Against the Girl Child
GCN’s programs are intended to empower girls with preventive tools and respond to cases of survivors of sexual violence creating an improved environment that promotes and enforces women and girls’ safety. This project focused on the preventive tools for girls, but also involved participation of boys and men in our districts of operation to appreciate the benefits of having an environment free from sexual violence. Dialogues with key duty bearers in the target districts were organized to engage on socio-cultural barriers to quality of life for girls in vulnerable settings. As boys and men see more educated girls and understand their issues, we believe they will be more likely to abandon their archaic perceptions of women as inferior and mere sexual objects with no meaningful role to play outside the home. Only as we involve boys and men will we have any chance of moving attitudes and perceptions against sexual violence. The goal of the project is to contribute to the reduction of sexual harassment in Kampala, Masaka and Wakiso and to increase girls’ feelings of safety. The project activities were conducted through the use of a customised mobile van equipped with reading materials, informational flyers/brochures, and documentaries that could be projected on the spot.