Access to Justice for Domestic Violence Cases in Uganda

Domestic violence remains a serious challenge in many Ugandan families today. In 2019, domestic violence cases were 6.3 percent of all reported cases, and DV was the fourth most frequently reported crime category after thefts, assaults and sex-related crimes. Despite the magnitude of reported DV cases, the justice system’s response to apprehend perpetrators of DV is still low. DV cases account for only 2 percent of the cases processed by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) annually. Furthermore, only two-thirds of Domestic violence files registered with the ODPP are sanctioned while a substantial proportion of these cases are closed due to lack of evidence. This brief notes that limited funding, limited technical capacity within the justice system may explain the poor access to justice in Uganda. To ensure access to justice for domestic violence survivors, measures are required to build the capacity of officers handling domestic violence cases. Also, there is a need to increase the budget for investigations if more cases are to be prosecuted in the Courts of Law.