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Surviving Gender Based Violence during the COVID-19

As cases of COVID-19 cases increase in Uganda, the emotional, physical and mental toll is also growing. Uganda introduced mandatory lockdowns and restrictions on movements to curb the spread of COVID-19, but survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) many found themselves trapped in their homes with their abusers. Forcing them to face more extreme forms of violence.

Because many GBV service providers are currently not physically reachable because of restrictions caused by Covid-19, this crisis provides an opportunity for us to deploy our peer counsellors who uses our Toll-free line to conduct tele counseling services and referrals with the District Task force.

“During this crisis there are more than 3000 reported cases of Gender Based Violence some have led to loss of lives. In Gulu a lone we have had 5 women and men murdered due to Gender Based Violence” Alice Peer counselor

With the spread of Covid-19, survivors are finding it hard to seek help, and are left isolated from the people and the resources that could help them. Health systems are becoming overloaded, making it more difficult for survivors to access medical, psychological and mental health care in physical spaces.

“Every day, I receive more than 30 cases that needs counseling and other services many have been stigmatized because they are suspected to be in contacts with some of unfortunate individuals confirmed and battling COVID-19” – says Prisca

Through our toll-free line hosted at Gulu Women’s Resource Center, survivors are virtually linked to service providers for support including psychosocial, legal and medical services. Service providers include FIDA, Action Aid, as well as the Uganda Police Child and Family Protection Unit.

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