MARACHA. A cross section of women in Ovujo town council, Maracha district have appealed to the government to formulate tougher penalties for their violent husbands to curb the increasing domestic violence in the community.

The women also accused their spouses of abandoning their family chores to their wives, engaging in polygamy, alcoholism and other drug use that has rendered them useless in family duties.

“Our men have abandoned us at home and gone for other women, they arrive home so late and don’t want any questions otherwise you get slaps and kicks, out of frustrations, many women have now resorted to drinking as well and families have completely broken down”, said Ms Phillister Ederu, a resident of Ovujo A cell in Ovujo town council.

She continued “The government must restrain the men from such behavior because women are silently dying in the communities”

Ms Mary Avako from Omgbo village, Mundru parish also asked the government to pay school fees for children after completing primary seven because many of the parents in the rural settings are poor and cannot support their children in school after primary seven. She said such poor families often end entangled in domestic violence.

“Our children have gone out of hand due to drug abuse and we are defeated in what to do with them because we can’t support them in school, rape is now rampant in our community because you have all these boys roaming around under the influence of drugs” she lamented.

Their appeal was made during a community dialogue on domestic violence at Ovujo town council on Sunday.

The dialogue organized by the Church of Uganda health department is in line with the Church’s aim of establishing strong families as a base for a stronger Church according to Mr Martin Bileni, the diocesan communication officer who hosted the dialogue.

The Bishop Charles Collins Andaku has prioritized the fight against domestic and gender based violence, teenage marriages and the fight against environmental degradation, practices that have caused untold suffering and destruction in the West Nile region.

The dialogue during a late evening market in the town center drew mainly women whose frustration was visible with many chanting chorus answers once they agreed with a popular view.

Some of the few men who attended the dialogue acknowledged that men had indeed caused untold suffering in the community and were becoming a menace to their wives.

“If the woman goes out there to look for food and comes home late, the men feel they were out there doing some bad things and usually resort to violence and yet they don’t provide anything at home, why can’t you report the woman to the relatives so that the issue can be settled other than resorting to violence?” asked Mr Francis Ondia, a resident of the town council.

Another man who only identified himself as Rasta TK said many men always prefer talking to their family members when they are drunk which easily breeds misunderstandings in the family.

Commenting on the rise in domestic violence, Canon Sam Batia, a retired head teacher said many men do not trust and respect their women and yet many of the women are wiser than their husbands.

Canon BatiaCanon Batia Sam speaks during the dialogue (PHOTO BY RIMILIAH AMANDU)

Mr Peter Adiga, the LC I chairman of Unzopi village asked people to avoid laziness and work hard saying most of the causes of domestic violence was because of laziness and poverty.

He also asked parents to value education and embrace technical courses as a way of curbing the rampant unemployment in the area.