KAMPALA, UGANDA: Police in Kira Division is investigating a violent attack on a 22-year-old woman who was gang-raped by a group of three men armed with pangas during an early morning jogging exercise in Namugongo, Kira division.
The incident according to police happened on Sunday, November 27 at around 4:30 am, when the gang attacked the woman on the road and further robbed her smartphone, after the sexual assault.
Police Spokesperson SCP Fred Enanga while addressing journalists on Monday said “Facts gathered indicate that on Sunday morning, the female victim (whose names have been withheld) started her jogging exercise, from her home in Namugongo-Buloli and headed towards Naalya. But when she reached the junction going to Kimbejja, opposite Vienna College, she met 3 men, armed with pangas who stopped, grabbed and dragged her into the nearby bush, where they gang raped her.”
Enanga explains that the victim was rushed to a nearby clinic by first responders for post-rape treatment and therapy, and a serious manhunt for the suspects, based on her description, has commenced.
Enanga however cautioned the general public to avoid jogging alone especially in hours when there are few people on the road, but instead choose to join groups of jogging for their own safety.
“As you are aware, many people enjoy exercising outside. However, it’s important to be safe and cautious, during all hours while jogging.
He also advised runners not to use earbuds or headphones because they make it difficult to hear their surroundings.
Below is a full list of other precautionary measures outlined by Enanga to deter such occurrences of the same incident.
Before you leave your home
- – Plan your outing. Always tell a family member or friend, where you are going and when you will return, and let them know your favorite exercise routes.
- – Wear an ID tag or carry a driver’s licence or any other form of ID with you.
While on the road,
- – Stay alert at all times. The more you are aware, the less vulnerable you are.
- – Run, walk, or bike with a partner or dog.
- – Do not wear headsets. If you wear them, you won’t hear an approaching car or attacker.
- – Listen to your surroundings.
- – Exercise in familiar areas.
- – Vary your route. That way a potential attacker won’t get to know your routine.
- – Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown trails. Especially poorly lit areas at night.
- – Run clear of parked cars or bushes. Run against traffic so you can observe approaching cars.
- – Trust your intuition about a person or an area. If you are unsure, about an area or feel unsafe, leave immediately.
- – Ignore verbal harassment. Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.
- – Carry a pepper spray, a whistle, a cell phone or flash light.
- – Do not be afraid to yell and scream for help.
- – For general safety, use the opposite side of the road, while running so that drivers can see you. Establish eye contact with approaching motorists, and be able to make quick judgements to protect yourself.
- – Running with bright clothing on and carrying a flash light, can also help runners stay safe.
- – Be careful if a driver stops and asks you for directions, if you answer, keep at least a full arm’s length from the car.
- – If you think you are being followed, change direction and head for open stores or a nearby house.
- – Have your door key ready before you reach your home.
- – Call police immediately if something happens to you or someone else, or you notice anyone out of the ordinary. Its also good to check with police about any criminal activity in the area you plan to run/walk/bike
- – Remain focused on your exercise and do not lose track of what’s going on around your walk and run with confidence and purpose. If you get bored, running without music, practice identifying characteristics of strangers and memorizing license tags to keep you from “zoning out”.
While Jogging in the Evening or Early Morning;
- – When exercising while its dark, the best advise is to get off the streets and go for the security of a well-lighted outdoor track or consider running on an indoor track or thread will.
- – If those options do not work, consider the following as you head out.
- (i) Make sure people can see you. Think about where you are going and how well lighted it may or may not be.
- (ii) Going out at dusk or at night is dangerous, without some type of reflective devise on your clothing or shoes.
- (iii) Watch the road.
- (iv) Keep alert. Dawn and dusk offer convenient shadows for muggers and other crooks.
- – When you are away from home, you can maintain your regimen, when you travel. It’s important, therefore;
- – To check with hotel staff, safe routes for exercise. If unsafe, see if the hotel can arrange access to a health club or gym.
- – Become familiar, with your exercise course, before you start. Get a map and study it.
- – Remember the street address of the hotel, and carry a card with your hotel address, along with your personal ID.
- – Leave your room key with the front desk.
- – Follow your usual safety rules.