|dc.description.abstract||In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda inclusive, implemented lockdowns, curfew, banning of both private and public transport systems, and mass gatherings to minimize spread. However, little did they know that these policies will have a huge impact on domestic violence. Media reports indicated that cases of violence and discrimination had escalated in Uganda’s communities following the lockdown. This study aimed at estimating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on domestic violence in Uganda.
This particular study performed a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data obtained from the International Citizen Project (ICP) collected to measure adherence to public health measures and their impact on the COVID-19 outbreak in Uganda. This study analyzed data on violence and discrimination from the ICP study. Descriptive statistics was performed for all the participants’ characteristics and created a binary outcome variable called experiencing violence and/or discrimination. Further, the study performed logistic regression analysis to identify the factors associated with experiencing violence and discrimination.
Of the 1726 ICP study participants, 1051 (58.8%) were males, 841 (48.7%) were currently living with a spouse or partner, and 376 (21.8%) had physically attended work for more than 3 days in the past week. Overall, 145 (8.4%) experienced any form of violence and/or discrimination by any perpetrator, and 46 (31.7%) of the 145 reported that it was perpetrated by a law enforcement officer. Factors associated with experiencing violence or discrimination were: being male (AOR = 1.60 CI:1.10–2.33), having attended work physically for more than 3 days in the past week (AOR = 1.52 CI:1.03–2.23), and inability to access social or essential health services since the epidemic started (AOR = 3.10 CI:2.14–4.50).
A substantial proportion of Ugandan residents experienced violence and/or discrimination during the COVID-19 lockdown, mostly perpetrated by law enforcement officers. We recommend mitigation of the collateral impact of lockdowns with interventions that focus on improving policing quality, ensuring continuity of essential services, and strengthening support systems for vulnerable groups including males.||en_US