“…culturally and religiously it is not acceptable”- Barriers to the reporting of Intimate Partner Violence to the police in Kampala, Uganda.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health concern associated with many health consequences such as poor mental health, injuries, HIV and death. It affects women worldwide and the bigger burden of it lies in Sub- Saharan Africa. Despite this, and the fact that IPV has been researched for over 50 years, the vast majority of studies have been conducted in the global North, meaning that studies on the global south still remain limited and rarely accessible (Speizer 2010; Beydoun and Beydoun 2013; Palermo et al. 2013b; Ogland et al. 2014). It also remains widely underreported with the implication that many of the survivors continue to suffer in silence, largely at the mercy of their violent partners. This study therefore sought to contribute to the knowledge gap in IPV research and evidence base particularly in resource poor settings. This was achieved by examining and documenting the barriers to the reporting of IPV to the police in Kampala, Uganda. An intersectional perspective along the axes of gender, religion, structural approaches and cultural context was used to guide the data analysis. The reporting of IPV remains dramatically low in Kampala, despite a higher availability of services there compared to the other parts of the country. National government efforts to address this issue have still not realised any substantial impacts and the reporting of IPV to the police remains low. Informed by a constructionist worldview, the study employed a qualitative research methodology, with the use of semi structured interviews for data collection. A two-month period of fieldwork was carried out. Due to the sensitive nature of this research only key actors/ stake holder’s interviews were recruited. The data collected was then transcribed and entered into NVivo 10 software, were it was organised, coded and thematically analysed in order to draw conclusions. The figure below summarizes the findings of the study. 4 Figure 1: Summary of the barriers to the reporting of IPV to the police Figure 1 illustrates the overall intersectional interaction of the categorical barriers in the generation of the multiple layers of the barriers to the reporting of IPV to the police. Recommendations are listed at the end of dissertation.