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CREATING A SAFE SPACE FOR WOMEN IS WHAT SAFINA LIVES FOR- Written by Mwanaisha Musa
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CREATING A SAFE SPACE FOR WOMEN IS WHAT SAFINA LIVES FOR- Written by Mwanaisha Musa

A crucial facet of effective youth participation is putting young people at the center of all we do. Reach a Hand Uganda believes that young people are the country’s hope and future, and that it is critical to engage them in the country’s development because they, too, contribute to social reform and societal betterment. We present you stories of young people making a difference in Uganda and around the world, especially during the continuing COVID-19 outbreak, as we commemorate International Youth Day.

In this piece, we introduce you to Safina, a fourth-year international relations student. Her passions include working and advocating for the safety and well-being of refugees, as well as pushing for equal resource allocation, care, and proper attention for sexual violence victims.

These passions stem from a strong desire to empower women. The teachings and knowledge she has gained from her feminist readings have inspired her to not only educate others about the necessity of women’s liberation, but also to be a voice and a vessel of change that tries to demolish patriarchy and make more room for women’s voices to be heard.

Uganda, like many other countries throughout the world, implemented a thorough lockdown in the start of 2020 to combat the spread of COVID19. There was a spike in rape cases and increased violence against women at this time, prompting Safina and a few other women to raise awareness about the issues.

However, given the failure of Uganda’s major institutions to adequately protect, serve, and offer enough jurisdiction for these women, they (Safina and her team) decided that raising awareness was insufficient and that they needed to take long-term action. The group then decided to form an organization that empowers, liberates, and, most importantly, protects sexual violence victims. The Frauen Initiative Uganda was born from these concepts.

Victims of sexual violence can contact Frauen at any time, and they will be engaged in a healing discussion and provided with the resources they need to address their specific circumstance. The Frauen’ primary focus is on giving PEP, a rape kit, and the morning after pill to victims, and if psychological help is needed, they have a professional psychologist who deals with the victims, whom they outsource. Frauen also offers legal assistance through its lawyer, who is happy to engage in legal discussions with the victim if they so desire. They rely only on donations to keep their services free for anyone who seeks assistance from them.

 

โ€œTo the best of our ability, we have assisted a lot of victims and participated in various conversations to raise awareness about topics such as rape culture and reproductive health,โ€ Safina says.

Safina works with a large group of people, including other members of the organization, funders, and partners. They hope to increase the number of victims they can assist in the future, but this will be a slow process. They are pleased with the job they have done thus far and hope to continue to assist as many people as possible.

The reaction to gender-based violence has a number of weaknesses. “We frequently see that our victims choose silence not out of choice, but because of inaction from institutions that are supposed to help them, as well as the fear of victim shaming and abuse if they seek justice. “This is a gap that needs to be filled immediately, because how can we truly speak about women’s equity and prosperity if they can’t even properly seek legal aid? Many times, immediate action is taken to protect the offenders by condemning the victims and questioning their choices while males are not held accountable. Women are not afforded the space to even share their experiences. ”Women are rarely given the opportunity to share theirย stories, victimsย of sexual violence are frequently dismissed,” Safina says.

This is true in the vast majority of cases. Often, society encourages victims to come forward, but does not provide an environment in which they feel comfortable and safe doing so. As a result, it is in our best interests to hold men accountable and to provide safe spaces for women. One of the many boroughs that prevents women from receiving adequate care, treatment, and essential resources to thrive in our society is our failure to protect women while placing the burden of men’s violent actions against women on the latter’s shoulders.

If you would like to contact Frauen, call them on +256 701 873 288/ +256 774 594 489.

 

Your Reaction

21 Comments

  1. Matovu Dailamy

    This is an awesome that the comunity and government officials need to read through, and we as men need to stand up and help people like safina grow stronger and big .
    Thanx for the message

  2. Mwine Chris

    This is a beautiful write up! I like the work Safina is doing. And reacha hand Uganda.This is an interesting blog.I read every word there!

  3. Salwa Hamidah

    Woow.
    This is actually great information that I can use to extend help to my peers . Thank you Mwanaisha. Waiting on more blogs. And could u notify me everytime you write?

  4. Vince

    This is a success story, and regardless of the challenges facing the activist/social worker, her initiative has produced results which are protecting the girlchild. I believe Safina together with her initiative will be getting any possible additional help esp legal aid to pursue justice for the rape victims. Huge thanks to the writer, Musa for putting up such an important article. It’s a good collection and a touching story. Happy Youth day to dear readers and writers.

  5. Swalat Issa

    Frauen initiative is a brilliant idea. Uganda needs such organizations that come to the aid of those that fall victims of rape/sexual violence. Since the government doesnโ€™t seem to put in as much effort as possible regarding rape, seeing people like Safina becoming a source of empowerment to other women is very awakening. This clearly shows how the small rape pep talks are continuously rising awareness around the country. With time, a large force of women will be picking up all the broken pieces of each other until we all stand still as one and fight for our right.

  6. Nansamba Saida

    I want to thank Safina and the team at Frauen Initiative Uganda for creating a safe space for the victims .Am sure this initiative has given and giving lots of hope to many women and girls out there .I hope it attracts more people to join the initiative , more Funders and gets support from the government. Abig Thanks to Mwanaisha Musa for this amazing article ๐Ÿ˜Š.

  7. Saida Nansamba

    I want to thank Safina and the team at Frauen Initiative Uganda for creating a safe space for the victims .Am sure this initiative has given and giving lots of hope to many women and girls out there .I hope it attracts more people to join the initiative , more Funders and gets support from the government. Abig Thanks to Mwanaisha Musa for this amazing article ๐Ÿ˜Š.

  8. Harry Ken Rogers

    Thanks sister and don’t give up on fighting for the rights of our sisters we can make a better tomorrow when we don’t sit down and relax as things are going astray

  9. Ocan Nelson

    I like what Iโ€™m seeing.Interesting blog,but when is Reach A Hand coming to my village in Nebbi to do work here? Alot of people here are backwards and lack of information (ignorance) is here especially about sexual Reproductive health,and gender equality. Women are suffering in the hands of men.It breaks my heart.My humble request is for Safina to extend a hand even in grass root level such that women here are also not left out instead of over focusing on Kampala women,otherwise great wirk that Frauen is doing.

  10. Junior Bakka

    I like to see women for women ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ Sheโ€™s also beautiful. Is Safina Married?๐Ÿ˜†

  11. Mwondha Rukia

    This is wonderful my dear . Many girls out there need more information to know that they’re not alone in these kinds of situations. Thank you Frauen Initiative. Applause.

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