Gender and police response to child abuse in Kampala District
This study examined gender and police response to child abuse in Kampala district. The following objectives guided the study: to document the types of girl and boy child abuses reported to police in Kampala District, to examine how policemen handle child abuse cases in Kampala District, to examine how police women handle child abuse cases in Kampala District, and to establish why the relationship between police officers is the way it is in Kampala District. The study applied a cross-sectional survey design with a sample size of (56) of which 43 questionnaires were returned. Three questionnaires were however eliminated due to errors and missing data leaving 40 questionnaires which were examined making 83.3% of the population of the study. The sampling methods were simple random. The structured questionnaires and interview schedule provided data for statistical analysis which enabled the researcher to answer the research questions. Observation technique was also applied by the researcher to enrich the research. It is evident from the study that various factors affect response to child abuse. It is also found out that the girl child is more abused than the boy child. Both girls and boys suffer physical, psychological and sexual abuse, however sexual abuses affect mostly girls. Policewomen were found to be more skillful in handling abused children due to the nurture and natural abilities. Policemen were found to be less skilful in responding to child abuse. The perceptions, attitudes and stereotypical tendencies contribute to how policemen and women respond to child abuse. Working relationship between policemen and police women uses patriarchal lenses where tasks are assigned on basis of sex. Key to the finding was that good working relationships can yield positive results when responding to child abuse. There is positive relationship between these factors (documenting girl and boy child abuse, policewomen handling child abuse, policemen handling child abuse and relationship between policewomen and policemen) and response to child abuse by the police in Kampala District. The positive relationship means that positive altering of these factors may change how police responds to child abuse in Kampala District. The study concluded that the police response to child abuse in Kampala District depended on how the objectives of this study are aligned and streamlined. Documentation of child abuse in itself may not lead to direct improvement in proper response but blended with individual capabilities of police officers will improve on response to child abuse If these factors are not properly aligned, the response to child abuse will be further jeopardized. The study recommends an improvement in the management of gender-related issues in order to achieve high level of police response to child abuse and eventually eradicate child abuse in Kampala District.