Women in Rukungiri turn tables to beat men

Preventing domestic violence against men is not easy because they do not report such incidents. There are also no clear social support systems to help the men, who are abused. PHOTO/ FILE

What you need to know:

  • Some of the victims have been hospitalised, while others are accused of neglecting their responsibilities.

Several men in Rukungiri District have cried out to leaders to save them from abusive relationships.
The victims told this publication that  their wives have turned them into punching bags. 
Mr David Kwesigomwe, 45, a resident of Bwambara parish in Bwambara Sub-county, now walks with the support of crutches due to physical assault.
He said his wife beat him until he became unconscious, and was later hospitalised for two months. 

“By the time I gained consciousness, I found myself at Nyaikabale Hospital. I thank God that I am still alive,” he said.
Mr Kwesigomwe said his wife accused  him of being a drunkard.
“Whenever I returned home, my wife would mistreat me until I reported her at the sub-county but that has not helped. The last time she beat me, I was hospitalised and I don’t know her whereabouts,” he said.

Mr Peter Karugaba, 58, a resident of Kinombe ward in Eastern Division, is also nursing wounds following severe beatings by his wife.
“My life is in danger because whenever my wife returns home, she grabs my neck and starts beating me. She has also caned me countless times,”  he said
Mr Karugaba said although he loves his wife, he can no longer stand the beating.

 “I have been suffering silently at the hands of my wife. I love her but I’m tired of being caned like a child. That is why I reported her to the Resident District Commissioner’s (RDC) office to save my life” he said. 
“It is now four years after she denied me conjugal rights. Whenever I demand for them, she beats me,” Mr Karugaba added. 
His wife, Ms Constance Mbabazi, accused her husband of failing to fulfil his responsibilities.
“He left all the responsibilities to me. He failed to pay school fees and none of our children completed Primary Seven,” Ms Mbabazi said.

The deputy RDC, Mr Wilberforce Ahimbisibwe Ongom, said cases of gender-based violence in the district, especially of men as victims, are on the rise.
“So far, I have registered 36 cases of men reporting of being assaulted by their spouses compared to three of women reporting about the same in one month,” he said.
The district probation officer, Mr Alison Mukuru, said many cases are from Bwambara, Nyakishenyi, Bugangari, and Bikurungu Town Council.
He blamed the incidents on men neglecting their roles as  family heads. 
“These cases are caused by too much poverty, high levels of illiteracy and men’s failure to perform their responsibilities as heads of families,” Mr Mukuru said.

He said women also deny their husbands food and conjugal rights.
“There are many men beaten by their dear wives but some don’t come to our office; they end up dying from there. At the moment, we have registered 46 cases of women beating men compared to 12 of men beating women since late March,” he said.