A neighbor called the helpline to clarify whether the decision reached by the VEO concerning her neighbor's son was final.
12-year-old Kabudi (not his real name) was sodomized by a 32-year-old man in his neighborhood. Mama Kabudi had worked tirelessly to ensure justice would be served for her son. She called the Village Executive Officer (VEO) for assistance, however when the VEO received the case, he did not involve the authorities but rather decided to solve it by letting the perpetrator go free and asking Kabudi’s mother to forgive him.
As expected Mama Kabudi could not sit by and watch her son's abuser walk free but she was not sure what protocols to follow. She confided with her neighbor who decided to call the Helpline.
After contacting us, one of our counselors proceeded to explain how wrong it was to solve such serious matters without alerting the authorities not forgetting the trauma Kabudi would keep experiencing seeing his abuser walk free knowing he can threaten or hurt him again at any moment.
The counselor asked to speak directly to Mama Kabudi and she was briefed on what was likely to happen if they took the appropriate procedures and reported the case to a Social Welfare Officer ( SWO) who would undoubtedly offer psychosocial support to the child and make sure that the person responsible would be held accountable.
As discussed, the counselor and the SWO involved the police and the perpetrator got arrested immediately. Kabudi was set to receive the counseling he needs and the SWO promised to keep us updated as the case proceeds.
What happened to Kabudi was devastating. We have a duty as members of society and much so as service providers to protect and serve the children in our community by ensuring that the people responsible for causing them harm are held accountable to the full extent of the law.
The helpline handles an average of 169,154 cases of Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation (VANE); Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA); and Child Maintenance & Custody in a year. About 18.4% of these, are cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation.