19-year-old Cassandra was rescued from prison cells by JCU Mmengo Centre in October 2021. Cassandra was in an abusive relationship where she and her on & off partner would get into physical fights, which she never reported. Once the abuse escalated Cassandra decided to end the relationship. Her decision to break up with him rattled Kasim and he ended up getting into another physical fight with her. As if the fight wasn’t enough, Kasim reported an assault case against Cassandra at Kawempe Police Station out of anger and jealousy.
This is how Cassandra was detained for two days. Kasim demanded UGX 1.000.000 compensation which Cassandra couldn’t raise at the moment. The OC in-charge of the Family and Child Protection Unit tried to mediate the matter but Kasim sustained his demand and the matter was forwarded to Nabweru court where after, Cassandra was remanded at Sentema Government Prison.
Cassandra spent two & a half months in prison and she felt like her world was crumbling down because she didn’t have relatives to help her out of this situation. Her family lives in the village and her immediate contact person in Kampala is her employer Jessica, who owns the shop she was working at and caters for her accommodation. Jessica was also disappointed in Cassandra following her arrest, which left Cassandra feeling helpless and forgotten.
Amidst all the uncertainty, Mariam, a friend and co-worker to Cassandra, rose to the occasion and sought legal assistance on behalf of Cassandra. Mariam reported the matter to the Mmengo offices on 29th September 2021 where she explained Cassandra’s ordeal during an in-depth interview with a JCU advocate. The JCU advocate engaged the Trial Magistrate who agreed to hear the sureties in the absence of the accused (Cassandra).
The advocate also had a discussion with Jessica (Cassandra’s employer) and explained Cassandra’s situation and the effect of the trauma she had experienced during her relationship with Kasim. Jessica understood Cassandra’s frustration, forgave her and notably agreed to be one of Cassandra’s sureties. In October 2021, Cassandra was successfully represented and granted bail at Nabweru Chief Magistrate’s Court.
The JCU advocate also talked to Kasim who agreed to reduce his demand to UGX 150.000. He received UGX 20.000 on the court day and the next installment was paid by the next hearing date of 20th November 2021. Cassandra was extremely happy about being released from prison and above all grateful that she still had a job and place to stay since Jessica took her back with open arms. A young lady acquired justice and secured her job with JCU’s intervention. “I feel so grateful to be out of prison and happy that Jessica agreed to continue accommodating and employing me at her store,’ Cassandra said while at the JCU Mmengo office.