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The fight against domestic violence

This week, The Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) has called for “the government to allocate more funds towards the fight against domestic violence”. Despite the introduction of the Domestic Violence Act in Uganda in March 2010, which aims to protect people against domestic violence, it is still a very common occurrence that is rarely reported to the authorities. There are many reasons for this, including lack of knowledge about rights to protection, lack of knowledge about support networks available, poverty, and the common belief that domestic violence is acceptable.


Love or Abuse?

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics reported that 68% of married women aged 15 to 49 had experienced some form of domestic violence. It is shocking to hear that this is so common in Uganda but what is even more shocking to hear is that in many traditional Ugandan communities, women believe “the harder my husband beats me, the more he loves me”.

Due to long standing cultural practices, some people believe if a woman does not consent to sexual intercourse with her partner then he may use force to extract consent. This is a major cause of the spread of HIV. Other reasons deemed acceptable for abuse in some traditional cultural views include child neglect and going out without permission. Due to these cultural beliefs, many police officers even believe that it is a man’s right to use violence against his wife. Therefore, even when women do report domestic violence, often, it is not investigated. What is surprising is that a higher percentage of women than of men deem domestic violence acceptable. You can read some interesting reports on domestic violence in Uganda here and here.


Children on the street

One of the most common reasons we hear from children on the streets as to why they left home is abuse, both physical and sexual. In most cases, this abuse comes from a step parent who no longer wants their partner’s previous children around. It is a sad fact that children who run to the street to escape abuse, often continue to be abused whilst on the street by other children or community members. Sadly this was the case for Eddie Nsubuga who was beaten to death for a crime he did not commit. The only kind of love many of these children have been shown is in the form of abuse.


The S.A.L.V.E. Approach

At S.A.L.V.E. we are working to change the perception that violence is acceptable by offering our children the love, care and attention that every child deserves. You can support us to help more children affected by domestic violence by fundraising for S.A.L.V.E. or by sponsoring a child.

One way in which we hope to reduce domestic violence within the community is through our two women’s projects in Kakira and Mafubira. Both projects provide an income for the women, which in turn will allow them to be more independent and reduce poverty in the local community. It also gives them the opportunity to learn about domestic violence through our life skills lessons and through their interaction with a trained social worker.

  1. Asiimwe Francis
    Jan, 30, 2013

    where do men report thier grievences concerning domestic violence because am tortured and i have tried to report to police am not being helped i even tried to go to fida i was told they are women lawyers i was a advised to go to legal aid project which is also slow am being tortured at home am in the grill please help me.

    • nambuyae
      Aug, 4, 2013

      Dear Francis Assimwe,
      FIDA is a women lawyers organsiation however they provide legal aid for indigent women,men and children.
      You can also get in touch with the Justice Centres Uganda who have offices in
      Kampala toll free number 080 010 0210,
      Tororo toll free no 080 010 0211 and
      Lira.toll free no 080 010 0212
      At police you need to look for the family unit they are well versed with issues of violence in the home

    Sep, 27, 2014

    Dear SALVE

    Thanks for the work you are doing to help curb domestic violence

    My sister has been a victim of domestic violence, harked by her husband and left for dead, he’s currently on the run but we hear reports that he is looking for her kill her, she is undergoing treatment hospital bills are so high her health is not good,but her safety is at stake. Is there any help your organization can offer her to assist her recover physically, emotionally and also ensure her safety?
    Thank you for your guidance

    • Nicola Sansom
      Oct, 14, 2014

      Dear Anne,

      Thanks for getting in touch and we are sorry to hear about the terrible situation your sister is facing. It is good she has such a supportive and caring sister. I’m afraid we dn’t specialise in domestic violence cases but in fact we mainly work with children on the streets. We might be able to refer you to other organisations though. Which part of Uganda are you and your sister in then we can suggest some other organisations you can approach for assistance?

  3. also anna
    Dec, 3, 2014

    Am in an abusive relationship and i feel i should leave . I have two. Children, but. I need. Counseling. Please help.

    • Nicola Sansom
      Dec, 11, 2014

      Thank you for getting in touch with us and we are so sorry to hear about the difficult circumstances that you are in. Where are you based? Then we can try to advise you on where to best access services. Please email more details to – thank you.

  4. harrie
    Dec, 15, 2014

    Hi,am harrei ma sister is under going terrible domestic voilence wither daughter of six year ,her husband is a captian in UPDF but doesn want to care for her and the kid,its ages since he bought them clothes,he less provides medication on top of other misstreatments.Its getting worse each time i talk to her,she leaves in Ntoroko ,Rwenzori region.Please guide me on how i can help .thanks

  5. Abala David
    Apr, 15, 2015

    Good NGO you really helping people a lot I would love to be part of your team one day
    God bless you all. I love working with children and youth an has been my work operation for the last 10 years with some NGO In kitgum. Under Child Sponsorship I can provide good mentor and consultation on the program. Continue helping children and out community.

    Abala David