Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th December 2011 12:28 PM



Over the past decade, recognition of the scope and appreciation of domestic violence as a public health, human rights and
general socio-economic development concern globally has increased. Domestic violence refers to engaging in specifi c
acts or threats to cause physical, sexual, psychological or economic abuse; within the context of a previous or existing
domestic relationship.

In Uganda, according to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS), 2006, Domestic Violence is experienced in all
parts of the country with the largest proportion of its victims being women and children and the main perpetrators being
male former or current intimate partners. Statistics further indicate that 68 percent of ever-married women aged 15 to
49 years have experienced some form of violence infl icted by their spouse or intimate partner.

With the negative impact of domestic violence being undeniable, the Uganda Law Reform Commission (ULRC)
commissioned a study in 2004 to establish the nature, impact, category of perpetrators and victims of domestic violence, and to document the existing responses to domestic violence in the country with a view to developing an appropriate framework for addressing domestic violence in Uganda. Further, the study aimed at making proposals for the introduction of legislative and extra-legal measures to enhance the protection of victims of domestic violence.

This study revealed that the rates of domestic violence were relatively high in all the regions of the country. Secondly, following incidences of domestic violence, 41% of the victims reported to Local Councils (LCs), 23% to relatives and 20% to the police and the courts. To reduce the occurrence of domestic violence in the country, ULRC made two main recommendations;

• There is need to utilize education, advocacy and sensitisation programmes to encourage the members of the public report cases of domestic violence to the appropriate authorities signifying zero tolerance to domestic violence; and

• A holistic, specifi c and comprehensive approach to deal with domestic violence be adopted. This would include the
enactment of a law, accompanied by extra-legal measures.

Parliament of Uganda enacted the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) in April 2010 to provide for the protection and relief of
victims of domestic violence, the punishment of perpetrators of domestic violence, procedures and guidelines for courts in protecting and compensating victims, and jurisdiction of courts with regard to do domestic violence cases.

The Domestic Violence Act provides for; the protection and relief of victims of domestic violence, the punishment of perpetrators of domestic violence, the procedure and guidelines to be followed by the court in relation to the protection and compensation of victims of domestic violence, the jurisdiction of court, the enforcement of orders made by court and empowerment of the family and children court to handle cases of domestic violence.

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) hereby informs the general public particularly the law enforcement offi cers and the victims of domestic violence that the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) came into effect in April 2011 with the gazetting of the Domestic Violence Regulations, 2011 No. 59.

The enactment of the Domestic Violence Act, 2010 accompanied by extra legal measures is an indicator that the Government of the Republic of Uganda is committed to zero tolerance to domestic violence.

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development would like to thank development partners particularly from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Norwegian Government who facilitated the process of developing the regulations.

MGLSD wishes to acknowledge the various government agencies and institutions participated in development of the regulations namely; Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, First Parliamentary Counsel, Justice and Law Order Sector Secretariat, The Uganda Police, Uganda Law Reform Commission, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, the Judiciary, Judicial Service Commission, the District Local Governments, Women Non- Governmental Organizations, the Domestic Violence Act coalition and Faith Based Organizations.

Lastly appeal to all Ugandans to keep up the good spirit to make domestic violence history in this country.

For God and My Country
Hon. Syda N.M. Bbumba

Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development
For further information, please contact:
The Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development
P.O. Box 7136 Kampala


Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development

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