Lawyer tips partners on responding to GBV cases

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Congolese refugee artists in a campaign to fight against gender based violence in Kyangwali refugee settlement.

“Violent response to any aspect of gender based disagreements escalates conflicts and from time to time causes death among lovers or wives and husbands,” observes a lawyer from Justice Centres Uganda (JCU), Hoima Centre.

Speaking at a sensitisation workshop on Gender Based Violence (GBV) at the weekend, Mr Edwin Mutaryebwa, advised partners to always exploit local avenues instead of heightening physical and physiological assaults.

The legal officer said at Kijungu Hill Hotel in Hoima city that the village leadership courts are mandated to resolve GBV disputes in accordance with Section 6 of the Domestic Violence Act.

 “It does not necessarily mean you must run to police or to court which sometimes is far away from you. The Local Council 1, 2, 3 leaders can resolve certain disputes and refer to the above authorities if they fail,” he enlightened.

He said practitioners like nurses and doctors, too, are mandated to counsel partners in disputes basing on their knowledge of handling patients.

Mr Mutaryebwa added that police and magistrates should always be used accordingly depending on the nature of violence and the likely or desired consequences in the best interest of the partners and the children.

During the workshop organised by the Child Rights Empowerment and Development Organisation (CEDO), drunkenness and poverty were listed among the major causes of GBV.

Ms Lina Gracious Atugonza, the Hoima Regional Referral Hospital – Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Clinic Senior Counsellor said the community needs to appreciate different gender issues that terminate to GBV.

According to her, the presence of key populations like sex workers and trans-genders need to be appreciated by the society and look for the mechanisms to address their plight and the risks associated with their lifestyle instead of subjecting them to stigma.

She said the number of commercial sex workers and homosexuals is truly growing in Hoima city and it is important for the teenagers and leaders to know.

Ms Mary Alituha, the Project Officer at CEDO said the training is part of implementation of the project dubbed Effort to Prevent and Address Gender Based violence (IPAG) in Hoima and Kikuube districts.

She added that supported by the Swedish government, the project mainly targets adolescents and the youths aged between 10-24 years.

Cases of GBV in Bunyoro have risen during the COVID-19 period and caused some deaths including the murder of a woman in Buseruka sub-county of Hoima district at the beginning of October this year.

Hoima police confirmed the murder of a 32-year-old mother of five, Gorret Ayebale who was battered by her husband, Lawrence Busobozi, in a domestic brawl over an intention to divert money reserved for family upkeep.

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