The rates of Domestic Violence in Uganda are exceptionally high. Statistics for Uganda show that 1 in 3 women in the country are abused by their partners. It is also recorded that about 70% of married women experience some form of domestic violence. Many of these women remain silent and do not report the crime to the police.
The reason being, that many in the communities support the violent behaviour. This is especially true if the women fails in certain household duties such as not looking after the children properly or if they fail to cook a proper meal. The government does have laws in place against domestic violence, but much of the time it is not enforced. Even though reports come in of rape and violence there are few convictions.
“Abuse is NOT Love. Abuse is about Control.” – Domestic Abuse Survivor
Now imagine men dressed in uniform marching down the street with babies strapped to their backs and balancing water jars as well as firewood on their heads. Some officers holding boards with phrases like, ‘Peace in the home’ or ‘Stop Violence against Women and Girls in Uganda’. People who are going about their day to day activities, stop to look, wondering what is going on!
This is what happened when brave officers from the Uganda Police Force showed up to show their support against Domestic Violence. Many are surprised by these acts, as the police have not exactly acted in a way that inspires confidence in them over the years. But as with many things, there are those who act poorly and those who wish to uphold the law and do their job properly. There was a similar event that occurred in December of 2015, when police officers also marched carrying balloons and wearing white ribbons in aid of bringing the issue of domestic violence to light.
There has been an increase over the years in the violence against women; this could be due to more women reporting cases. But whatever the reason authorities find the increase disturbing, which is why they are have participated in this initiative. They want to help bring awareness nationally as well as internationally to the problem of Domestic Violence. Hopefully change is coming for those affected by domestic violence in Uganda.
The problem of Domestic Violence was brought to light even more by one of the politicians within the Ugandan Government. He made statements that clearly suggest that it is okay to beat your wife, and he made his viewpoint on national television. The officers who participated in the marches clearly want to show their support, and show the people that they do not share in these attitudes. They want to stop the violence and murders of women in their communities.
Many are supporting them and praising their efforts towards this initiative. This support is seen on many of the social media platforms. Thankfully the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, stands with them against domestic violence. He is encouraging the men in Uganda to stop beating and abusing their wives. This type of display of support shows a commitment on the part of authorities to confront and prevent any form of violence against women.
This is hopefully the beginning of a movement towards more tolerance of all groups of people and a firm stance against abuse on all levels.
Domestic Violence can come in many forms, not only physical. Many women are subjected to sexual, emotional, verbal abuse. South Africa also has a problem and is considered to have high rates of domestic violence. Every day women are subjected to physical assault, sexual and verbal abuse. If you feel you are being put in danger or are being abused in any way, there are organisations out there that can offer assistance and support.
Here are some contacts in South Africa:
- Tears: Helpline: *134*7355# | Landline: 010 590 5920 | Website: https://www.tears.co.za/
- POWA: Contact: 011 642 4345 | Website: https://www.powa.co.za/POWA/
- SA Police: Police emergency number: 10111 | Crime Stop: 08600 10111