Domestic violence in Gulu, Northern Uganda

  • DL Kitara
  • BM Odongkara
  • DA Anywar
  • P Atim
  • C Amone
  • D Komakech


Background: When guns fell silent in the post conflict northern Uganda, another form of physical injuries has come in place, Domestic Violence also commonly referred to as Gender based violence. This injury from violence leading to physical trauma is one of the leading public health problems in this region. We describe the occurrence and reasons for admission due to domestic violence to surgical ward of Gulu Hospital.
Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted in Gulu Hospital over a period of two years (January 2008 to December 2009) using a prepared proforma designed to capture physical injuries admitted. Only patients that met the inclusion criteria for domestic injuries were registered. Informed consent and ethical approval was obtained from the committee of the Hospital.
Results: Of 1880 patients registered with trauma, 454 were due to domestic violence (24.1%) and was the commonest form of physical trauma and mainly occurred in December and June and were lowest in February and March. Its frequency of occurrence was followed by bodaboda injuries (21.4%). The majority of victims were females (73.6%) with a female to male ratio of 2.84:1.0.
Conclusion: Domestic violence was commonest cause of trauma in Gulu Hospital. More females were affected than males. December and June had the highest incidence. It is a public health problem in the region which drains hospital resources.

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eISSN: 2073-9990