Gender Based Violence (GBV) was committed on a mass scale in Bunyoro Region last year, reveals the Executive Director for Navigators of Development Association (NAVODA), Mr Benon Tusingwire.
Speaking during a dialogue funded by Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF), Mr Tusingwire disclosed that the non-government organisation received more than 45,000 cases of GBV from Hoima, Kikuube and Kagadi districts in mid-western Uganda.
He revealed that although the violence was subjected to both men and women, the latter suffered more with battering, sexual harassment and denial to access to family income taking centre stage.
This called for referrals to the police, Community Development Officers and Probation Officers among other interveners for further management so that GBV is checked in the interest of the people who fall victims of the vice.
To check this, the Executive Director said awareness campaigns were conducted sensitising communities about the negative impacts of GBV to married couples, children and the entire community.
Speaking at the same stakeholders’ dialogue held at the NAVODA offices in Kasingo cell, Hoima city, Ms Annette Kabahaguzi, the Kikuube District Senior Probation Officer, said that women are more affected in GBV through denied enjoyment of same rights to equal opportunities, resource management and protection as should be in gender equality.
She added that GBV cases received in her office are physical, sexual, psychological and economic among families especially between married couples.
The Probation Officer advised married partners to always have joint budgets and financially plan together for their families besides avoiding emotional expressions between themselves while in public to help reduce GBV cases.
She encouraged referrals to the police, local leaders and schools in order to address such cases.
Ms Kabahaguzi urged religious leaders to preach against GBV in their places of worship as one of the measures in place to wipe the vice out of the community as they supplement government efforts to eradicate such barbaric acts.
The Kikuube Town Clerk, Mr Francis Abitegeka, attributed the many GBV cases against women partly to poor conflict handling mechanisms and bad resolutions that disfavor women in families.
He noted that continual advocacy for mindset change against GBV, observing women emancipation and proper raising of children are some of the best strategies to end the crime besides the need to create mass awareness in societies, families, workplaces and other institutions.
The Rev Francis Ntegyereize blamed the increasing GBV among women for the fear among them to report the crime to the authorities and local council leaders’ ignorance to handle such cases effectively.
He urged his fellow religious leaders to preach against GBV to their flock to end the crime that is cancerously eating the fibres of homes in the Bunyoro region.