Children’s understanding and experience of domestic violence in Njeru town council Buikwe district
Namazzi, Maria Joan
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Domestic violence remains one of the most pervasive human rights violations of our time and children are disproportionately affected by the vice as hundreds of millions of them continue to silently suffer from domestic violence, its related abuse and ramifications of such violence in their homes. However, the position of children is misrepresented and they remain only slightly present in the available literature with just a dearth of interventions focused on improving their status quo. This was a qualitative study conducted to find out children’s understanding and experiences of domestic violence in Njeru Town Council, Buikwe District. The study involved conducting In-depth interviews with 15 respondents including; eleven children aged 10 – 18 years and key informants including a teachers, a religious leader, local police and LC Chairperson. The data was analyzed using Deniz’s interpretive interactionism and three themes emerged; Family relations and interactions which explored the coercive and controlling nature of perpetrators of violence in the household, straining of relationships and breakage of families and transfer of child care roles. The other emerging theme is the children’s coping strategies in environments marred by domestic violence which explored restraint, freight, avoidance of abusive parents and isolation from peers and elders. The third and final theme that emerged was Children’s lived experiences of domestic violence having explored emotional distress and psychological issues, physical and sexual abuse. From the study it is clear that children to the greatest extent understand the patterns and forms of violence within their household, the power relations within the household and the undesirable outcomes of such violence. They have as such developed a number of strategies including freight, restraint and avoidance while on the negative side, some children go into isolation. And it’s thus apparent that they are not mere witnesses but largely affected by the ongoing violence within the households.