Evicted yesterday, raped the next day

 

Women and girls who were evicted from their own lands are facing dangers.

 

“One day after we’ve been evicted, I went to collect firewood. There, I found soldiers,” said Dina*.

Gathering firewood for cooking and keeping the family warm was a routine task for women and girls in Dina’s village. However, that day, became one of the darkest days of her life.

She said, “I had gone with other women. The other women ran away and left me behind. That’s when that soldier raped me.”

 

Dina was not the only one. There were others who experienced the same fate. One of them was a young girl named Tara* who was raped by a male stranger.

“My daughter had gone to collect firewood. After the other girls had left, he forced her under a broken tractor and raped her,” said the mother of Tara. The impact of the tragic incident left Tara with a mental illness.

 

As for Dina, her family suffered when rumors of the rape spread in their village.

“After my husband got back home and heard these rumors, he left me with all our six children,” said Dina. She was left alone to feed her kids, be their father and at the same time face what happened to her.

 

Dina and Tara’s families were among the more than 30,000 families who were evicted from over 9,500 acres of land in Kiryandongo district in northern Uganda where they have been living on for decades.

The forced eviction which started in 2017 made women and girls like them become vulnerable to rape and other forms of sexual harassment and abuse from security personnel. There were eight rape cases that were recorded in their area, however, the number could be higher since the rape survivors alleged that authorities were not taking their responsibilities.

 

So, until now, there is no justice for Dina and Tara and they continue to live in a land that is not their own.

 

Stand with Dina and Tara. Sign this petition.

 

*Her name was changed for her protection.