COVID-19 and the Rising Levels of Domestic Violence in Uganda

Domestic violence which may also be referred to as domestic abuse or family violence is a very disastrous habit in families. Globally, domestic violence is a very big challenge among married partners more so in developing countries including Uganda. It became a very challenging turmoil during the Covid-19 lockdown period. Global lockdowns have resulted in a horrifying surge in gender-based violence (GBV). This surge in domestic violence also has a direct impact on women victims. As noted by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR), the pandemic deepened gender inequalities because “the burden of caring for children at home and sick or elderly family members falls disproportionately on women”. The brief presents the emerging evidence from secondary data about Covid-19 pandemic aiming at benefitting all stake holders to the fight against domestic violence and ensure safety of families in long-term recovery plans. Some of the recommendations include but are not limited to: government allocating sufficient human and financial resources, government undertaking strong social awareness campaigns on the criminal nature of domestic violence and services available to victims, a need for the state to engage research organizations and think tanks to periodically develop databases and give updates about the different abuses faced by families, the government through the Ministry of Labor and Gender and Social Development gazetting centers where the victims are collected for counseling services as a way of rehabilitating the victims from the trauma, the Ministry of Gender putting in place convenient and prompt response toll-free lines to be used by the victims in case of any violence in homes. Initiation of a fully domestic violence legal section to permit easy access to justice, provision of economic support to the victims to promote their economic independence and other policy recommendations as stipulated in this brief.