Putting a cap on runaway GBV: The case of Action Aid and UWONET partnership in Busiki

While I thought I knew Gender Based Violence, prior to working in Uganda I had no basic idea about the negative impact that GBV has to an individual, a family, a community and the society at large. Well, 9 months later I bare seldom condone it neither its perpetrators. I have come to know that rights abuses range from physical and psychological abuses to those of property, resource, allocations and/or ownership at household level. This practice is further exuberated on the basis of lack relevant information and awareness on GBV alleviation by communities and in particular, women and girls. While appreciating the women and girls suffer the most, men also bare the same brut effect of GBV albeit few cases are recorded. I am shocked and surprised that Busoga Sub Region in Eastern Uganda is at the apex of Gender Based Violence violations and that the violations are in one way or another, associated with HIV/AIDS infections.

Esther Kisembo - Legal Officer
According to Esther Kisembo - Legal Officer based in Mubende, As compared to Men, Women and girls are more prown to be subjected to cultural practices and myths that perpetuate abuse.

Based on increased issues by the communities, and following a similar drive in 2014, Busiki LRP convened 3 day legal aid clinics to address property related abuses. During the three-days, key among the cases that were raised included land grabbing, which according to survivors led to threats by close family members and local leaders. The survivors also indicated that upon reporting these issues, survivors were denied services and justice due to rampant corruption coupled by unnecessary bureaucracies in public service offices. It is a pity to note that similar issues were raised in the past clinics but with no sustainable action due to lack of legal aid office in the District. 

Priscilla Nyakake - Coordinator and Legal Officer (UWONET)
According to the Coordinator and Legal Officer – Ms. Priscilla Nyakake; as a measure to control the-runaway GBV and related abuse cases, it is imperative that we have sustained awareness and about GBV, but also to effectively support the survivors. This is the joint understanding and objective of this partnership. Through one-on-one counseling and support, UWONET will be in a strategic position to offer real time advice and legal support.
To my unguarded excitement and that of the community members, UWONET opened up office in Busiki to the relief of GBV survivors but to the detriment of the perpetrators in 2014. Currently, through this partnership cases are being heard, survivors are supported and legal action is taken on perpetrators. This partnership will effectively ensure that communities are supported with legal advice and counseling and as a fact; survivors whose cases required support during the Legal Aid Clinic Drives by ActionAid will be supported at the UWONET offices. Kudos to UWONET and ACTION AID Uganda!



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