2nd December 2004.
CEDOVIP offering shelter from shame

By Nabusayi L. Wamboka

Police at Kiira Road station last week received a rare care of domestic violence. A husband forced his wife to deny their child breast milk and was suckling the breasts himself.

After pleading with the man in vain, the child's mother decided to report the case to police, saying her child was becoming malnourished because it was not getting enough milk.
Although a source at the station says they are still investigating, they are treating the case as child abuse and neglect.

Domestic violence is a crosscutting shame that needs organisations like the Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) to shelter spouses who become victims.

Although police say there was no physical abuse in this particular case, the child was denied its means of survival and the mother suffered psychological torture.

CEDOVIP is an NGO working with communities in Kawempe division to change attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate domestic violence.

The biggest issue of concern, however, is the link between domestic violence and HIV/AIDS. "We work with a whole range of community members to address these issues. Currently, there is a growing body of research calling attention to the connection between violence against women and HIV/AIDS," says Betty Akullo, the NGO's coordinator.

According to Akullo, violence and fear of violence hinders women's ability to prevent transmission of the virus that causes AIDS and compromises their access to a range of services including testing and treatment.

CEDOVIP will today launch the "16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence". The campaign is a global initiative that highlights connections between women, violence and human rights.

The significant dates within this period are November 25, which is the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women; December 1, the World Aids Day and December 10, the International Human Rights Day.