Health says NO to Gender Violence

£478 of £500 goal

Raised by 16 people in 29 months
We (myself and my colleague Dr Ceri Gallivan) are Volunteer Doctors working in rural South West Uganda. We are trying to raise funds to help with research into Gender Based Violence and how we can motivate healthworkers to identify and assist women in need. We need funds to cover our ethical approval and research costs to aid us in developing these vital services!

Since arriving last August, the most challenging aspect of our work has been the prevalence of Gender Based Violence (studies estimate between 60-70% of women and girls over the age of 14 are affected).

We see women and children savagely affected by frequent and routine daily violence, that is accepted as not only a cultural norm, but in fact an inevitable part of a woman’s life. This has far reaching impact on women’s health, including mental health and exposure to sexually transmitted infections. Even more worrying is the apparent impact it has on their children, who not only grow up exposed to violence, but are more likely to be orphaned or neglected leading to problems such as malnutrition, poor physical health, and lack of education access.

Most victims are not identified by the hospital staff and those that are seem to be dismissed off hand, with comments from colleagues such as “she probably deserved it” and “that is what happens in marriage”. Even more disturbing is the perspective of many women in the community that “if he doesn’t beat you he doesn't love you”. Most women even after attending hospital for severe injuries end up returning to their partners, as they are not accepted back to their premarital homes, cannot buy land for themselves and have no viable alternatives.

However, I am not alone in my concern, we have many local colleagues who find the situation intolerable, as well as an ever increasing incentive from NGOs and women’s advocacy groups to change the tide of cultural perception.

We felt that to truly tackle GBV we first needed a deeper understanding of the attitudinal and cultural barriers that we must overcome. Thus in conjunction with our Ugandan colleagues, we have embarked on this vital piece of research into healthcare worker attitudes and behaviours. This could help us really change health outcomes and futures for women and children not only in our immediate area, but across the region and Uganda.

This is the first step in what we hope will be a full and comprehensive program to tackle GBV in South West Uganda, from senstisation and screening, to care packages and lobbying for the development of third party organisations for community support.
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On my way back to the UK now for the first time in months but hoping to apply for ethics approval in Uganda very soon! We need your help to tackle this horrible problem! Please share with your friends
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We see so many women who's lives cold have been so very different if there were intervention and support for gender based violence: imagine a woman who has been beaten all her life by her husband. Her crime was to have sons who died and only daughters left. She has attended hospital on several occasions with injuries, even broken ribs, but each time nothing is done to change her opportunities in life and she returns home. As she ages he marries a second wife and leaves her to live alone, unsupported and unloved. She turns to alcohol for solace and escape until she becomes old, neglected and sick and is admitted to hospital one last time. (Fictional account based on real events) if we could we understand better the barriers to healthcare staff intervening and what kind of services could truly aid and empower her we could change her fate. By helping us fund this research you will be helping us contribute to this change!
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£478 of £500 goal

Raised by 16 people in 29 months
Created June 5, 2016
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