Police officers asked to deal with gender-based violence cases decisively

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Police officers asked to deal with gender-based violence cases decisively
Police Chief Political Commisar, Ubaldo Bamunoba speaks on Wednesday.

The new Police Chief Political Commissar, Ubaldo Bamunoba has asked officers to deal with gender-based violence and violence against children cases decisively.

Speaking during a gender-based violence and violence against children workshop in Rwizi region in Mbarara, Bamunoba said the situation is alarming, hence the need for police to act .

“The Uganda Police annual crime report in 2023 indicated that a total of 14,681 cases of domestic violence were reported to police. Of these, 1,520 cases were taken to court, out of which 423 cases secured convictions while 889 cases are still pending in court. During this period, 15,184 people were victims of domestic violence,” Bamunoba said.

“Gender-based violence and violence against children has become a widespread and unacceptable social ill requiring immediate and well-coordinated law enforcement action together with other stakeholders.”

He said that the escalating situation can be attributed to a number of factors including the unequal power relations between men and women in the society and traditional, cultural, and religious practices that encourage violence against women and children and subordinate them to the coercion of men.

“The practices promote social acceptance of the use of violence as a means of solving domestic misunderstandings or problems. Traditional attitudes that stigmatize men and boys who experience violence, and hence, deter them from reporting incidents.”

He said the economic dependence of women and children on men forces them to stay in abusive families and relationships which deters them from reporting abusive behaviour for fear of losing an income provider.

The Police’s Chief Political Commissar said it is high time stakeholders acted decisively to combat gender-based violence.

“Prevention and response to gender-based violence is beyond Police alone but it requires a multi-sectoral approach. There must be co-existence of both sexes and partnership if economic development is to take place in Uganda,” Bamunoba said.

“ Therefore, we must do anything possible within our means to make sure that favourable conditions are created for victims and survivors of gender based violence to access justice.”

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