25 November 2012

Uganda: Domestic Violence Act Translated Into Luo, Ateso, Luganda

Efforts to sensitise both men and women on gender based violence are underway but culture stands in the way. ( Resource: Plans Under Way to Sensitize Masses on Gender-Based Violence in Uganda )

Action for Development (ACFODE), a non-governmental organsition (NGO) has translated the Domestic Violence Act 2010 into major local languages in order to help the Local Council courts, Police and cultural leaders better understand its implementation.

The executive director of ACFODE, Regina Bafaki pointed out that since the Act became law in 2010, its implementation has been a challenge especially at the lower courts. The LC1 and LC2 chairpersons, she said, do not understand some sections and clauses in it.

"The majority of law enforcers who are supposed to promote justice in homes have challenges in terpreting the current Domestic Violence Act. That's why we went ahead to simplify it into major spoken local languages," Bafaki said.

The law can now be read in Luo, Luganda and Ateso and the move is intended to realize justice for victims of domestic violence.

Bafaki observed that once the community and LC chairpersons understand the law,perpetrators are punished accordingly which will deter others from committing the same offence.

Ever since ACFODE simplified the Domestic Violence Act there has been reduction of cases of sexual violence in Acholi and Lango sub-regions as well as in Teso.

Bafaki was speaking at the marking of 27 years of the organisation's existence and the launch of 16 days of activism to end violence against women in Bukoto a Kampala.

The theme for this year activism is: "A peaceful world begins with peaceful homes."

Guests lit candles to symbolize peace at homes and cut a cake to mark the event.

Bafaki explained that the purpose of the theme is to ensure that Ugandans look at promoting peace as a personal responsibility.

"Nobody else can promote peace in your home unless you do it individually," she said

She also said her organization has trained different social actors like the church leaders, health workers, LCs to understand what the Act is about.

Bafaki stressed the need to dissuade children from looking at violence as normal as they see their parents involved in it.

"Some children who have seen their parents being violent tend to think that it is normal and therefore, they tend to promote violence in schools and community and this should be discouraged."

The founder of the organization Prof. Ankrah Maxine urged government to implement the Domestic Violence Act so as to ensure that culprits of domestic violence are apprehended and punished.

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