Ugandans have been urged to be their sister’s keeper in relation to the rising cases of domestic violence where women are the most affected.
The call was made by Peace Mutuzo the state minister for Gender and Culture Affairs, while delivering her communication on the International Day of the Family 2020.
The minister said that neighbors and other members of the family should call police and report any cases of domestic violence and that even though Courts may not be working, a case never rots.
Tomorrow May15th, Uganda will join the rest of the world to observe the International Day of the Family. The theme for this year is “A Harmonious Family: A Key to Sustainable Peace and Development”.
According to Mutuuzo, this year is unique because the world over is commemorating the Day under Lockdown due the novel COVID-19 pandemic, and that to appreciate that the Family has stayed together during this challenging period despite all the stress, Government agreed to commemorate the day.
“The theme requires us to understand the role of a stable and harmonious family and how it contributes to peace and sustainable development in the country. It is well known that strong families create strong societies and nations at large. The family cannot be strong if there is violence, poverty and children are not being nurtured into good citizens” she noted.
In the first four months, January – April 2020, the cases of violence against children were 1,967 compared to 3,037 in 2019(Child Helpline: May 2020). This is almost 60% of last year’s cases. Of these cases Girls (1,148) were the most affected compared to boys (766), others were 53.
The lead perpetrator was reported as the father, followed by none related adult and the mother. Neglect and physical abuse were the prominent cases registered. In terms of location Wakiso District had highest number of 934 cases, followed by Kampala district with 578 cases among others.
“Gender Based Violence figures reported were 3,280 within a period of less than one month, between 30th March and 28th April 2020(Uganda Police 2020). I am concerned with such huge figures for children and women. Some members of the family have died due to intolerance at home, this is unacceptable” the minister added.
Mutuuzo added that some of these cases were due to inability to access income to support the family, not being used to staying together, poor communication and in other cases due to patriarchal tendencies among others. She noted that these acts of violence degrade the dignity of humanity.
This is to therefore call on all the duty bearers in the GBV prevention and response pathway to ensure that the perpetrators of these vices are dealt with decisively and in a timely manner in accordance with the law.