1 April 2005

Uganda: Fida Welcomes Battered Husbands

Kampala — THE Uganda Women Lawyers Association (FIDA) has urged men who are victims of domestic violence to take advantage of its services.

"Some men are battered by their wives, but they rarely lodge their complaints with us or with other relevant authorities," Ann Kampire, a FIDA official, said on phone on Tuesday.

Kampire was reacting to media reports that a man from Kasese district was battered by his wife into coma over sh10,000 during the Easter holiday.

She urged men to come out in the open. "Sometimes we get reports of men scolded by their wives. We learn of such incidents when women come here claiming to be the victims. On cross-examination, however, we discover how their men are the real victims," she said.

Kampire estimated the number of male victims of domestic violence at three percent, adding that such men suffer psychological, rather than physical violence.

"Men tend to be proud. They would rather hash the incident than expose it in public," she said.

Kampire dismissed claims that FIDA was an anti-men organisation.

"We offer free legal aid services to poor and disadvantaged women and children. But this does not mean we do not assist men. We stand for a just society," she said.

Kampire said such claims came up because most victims were women.

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