SafePal is a platform that young people (10-24 years) can use to confidentially report cases of sexual violence and get linked to the nearest service providers for help. Service providers include health centers, civil society organizations (CSO), judiciary, GBV safe shelters, police and district local governments. CSOs provide psychosocial support, judiciary offers legal education and mediation, referral for medical support, while the GBV safe shelters help to house survivors.
Discrimination against women and girls, gender based violence and harmful practices severely affect women and girl’s health. Gender Based Violence (GBV) is a human rights violation, abuse and a public health challenge. It is also a barrier to civic, social, political, and economic participation. GBV results in a number of negative consequences; including adverse physical and mental health outcomes, limited access to education, increased costs relating to medical and legal services, lost household productivity, reduced income and weak decision making indicators. GBV includes Sexual violence, physical violence, economic violence, emotional violence and harmful traditional practices. According to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS), 2011, 56% of women cite having experienced physical violence and 60% women report violence by current spouses/husband.
SafePal will only focus on sexual violence as it’s affect a lot young people. SafePal will focus on ages 10 to 24 but for the pilot phase interventions will be directed at children in secondary schools aged 12 – 18. The criteria for age selection is as a result of Uganda categorization which is as follows: Aggravated defilement – rape of children 14 years and below is a capital offense, punishable by death, and only triable by the High court; simple defilement – rape of children 15 – 17 years of age is punishable by life in prison, and can be tried by the Magistrates court; and rape for adults 18 years and above. Uganda also has a category referred to as "Child to Child sex". If two children have sexual intercourse, then both will be treated as offenders and dealt with according to the law governing Children.
SafePal reduces on the time between when the sexual violence is perpetrated and when the survivor is referred to the nearest health care and other response services. Through a mobile application and an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system, survivors or their friends will be able to report cases of abuse confidentially into the system. The system will further provide a dashboard through which service providers can view survivors who have reported and require assistance.