Domestic violence in police barracks in the Uganda police force: A case study of Kampala extra region
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The study sought to examine domestic violence in police barracks. Domestic violence is an important subject for police officials to understand considering the central role they play in addressing law and order within both the public and private spheres. The study was guided by four objectives • To identify and assess knowledge of the human rights instruments on domestic violence protecting rights of women. • To assess the effect of the nature and character of police work on domestic violence. • To examine the character of domestic violence in police families. • To establish the prevention measures for domestic violence in police families. The study used a cross sectional descriptive survey design with both qualitative and quantitative methods. The samples used in the study included 10 key police officials who were heads of departments, 40 police officials and police wives respectively. The instruments used for data collection included a structured questionnaire, interview guide and a focus group discussion guide. The data obtained was analyzed using frequency counts, percentages and content analysis. The data is reported in tabular form, narratives and verbatim quotations. The study established and concluded that there were human rights instruments protecting the rights of women and there was some knowledge of the same in the police community. The study also found out that the nature of police work and training predisposed them to perpetrating domestic violence and this resulted into all forms of domestic violence being prevalent in the police barracks. The study further established that some preventive measures could be utilised to prevent domestic violence. The study recommends that there should be a move from the theoretical application of the human rights instruments using the workshops, seminars and the media to a more radical and vigilant practical implementation on the ground. This can be done by the strengthening and formation of National Human Rights Organizations and commissions that supervise and monitor the performance and implementation of the ratified international human rights instruments. These should further foster enactment of domestic violence laws. In addition, there should be thorough screening of police officers before training them on subjects like temper management and stress containment. There should also be continuous screening and management of behavioural disorders and detection of stress and burn out in order to maintain a psychologically stable police force. This can be enhanced by effective communication and a conducive working environment. The study further recommends that there is need to emphasize among police officials that they should leave police combat skills on the streets, and that their wives are partners with equal rights and not suspects or criminals that they apprehend on the streets. This can be achieved through regular parade and leaving of police equipment at the department after work instead of taking it home. This can strongly signal and remind the police officer that he is going to a different environment. Vigilant police counselling and support from the superiors should be reinforced by the enactment of the domestic violence laws and policies that emphasize zero tolerance of domestic violence in the police community. This can be handled by establishing a counselling department in police.