The Gender Based Violence and Juvenile Court in Juba has so far sentenced more than 100 young men to different prison terms for committing sex crimes since its establishment in December 2020.
Most of the case are of defilement and rape.
The convicts were sentenced to terms between 5 to 10 years in imprisonment while the Juvenile offenders are sentenced to reformatory schools for a terms not exceeding 5 years.
In December last year, there was a sharp rise in cases of sexual violence, with the Gender-based Violence Center at Juba Teaching Hospital registering 29 cases of sexual assault in one month alone.
These included a shocking incident involving a 2-year-old baby-girl.
Most of the incidents were reported in Gudele, Gumbo Sherikat, and other areas of the capital.
According to Samuel legge, a doctor in charge of the facility, the cases involved physical assault, defilement and rape among women and girls.
Despite the significant trend in accountability against GBV perpetrators, activists believe the figure could be by far higher.
Survivors of Gender-Based Violence said in media reports, that they have lost trust in the police force, which, according to them does not take sexual abuse allegations serious.
They said in some cases, police officers question the accuracy of their testimonies.
In response, a judge encouraged women and girls to have faith in the legal systems and seek justice for all forms of Gender-based violence.
Ajok Tito Telar, who is a second-grade judge at the County court stated in March that women should continue to report the vice to the police, for them to get justice against perpetrators.
Meanwhile, the court has also dismissed 19 cases of alleged sexual abuse at the same time.
The latest case dismissed by the GBV court was two weeks ago, and of a young man freed of abduction and defilement, after a medical specialist used dental formula to suggest the girl was not a minor.
Makur Deng Achol, 25, was accused of kidnapping a 16-year-old girl from Juba to Lakes State in October last year, in a premarital practice known as elopement.
So far, most of the reported cases of sexual violence are mainly against young girls and women, raising questions of whether men are reluctant to speak out or they are not facing the challenge.
In April this year, a senior government official appealed to men to speak out on incidents of gender based violence committed against them by women.
The Vice President for Gender and Youth Cluster Rebecca Nyandeng called on men experiencing Gender-Based Violence to report to relevant authorities for help.
Nyandeng said this will help reduce mental health issues that are escalating among males in the country.
According to her, gender-based organizations cannot intervene if they don’t speak out.
According to Section 247 of the Penal Code, whosoever has sexual intercourse or carnal intercourse with another person, against his or her will or without his or her consent, commits the offence of rape, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years and may also be liable to a fine.
According to UNFPA, one in three women worldwide experience gender-based violence as one in five men.
Globally, as much as 35 percent of women have experienced intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
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