COVID-19: Father Joe King Decries Increased Child Abuse, Domestic Violence

Redpepper Digital's Brian Musaasizi with Father Joe King at St.Karoli Lwanga-Mbikko

Redpepper Digital’s Brian Musaasizi with Father Joe King at St.Karoli Lwanga-Mbikko

Jinja – As COVID-19 is taking its toll on the world, causing deaths, illnesses and economic despair, Father Joe King the St.Karoli Lwanga Parish priest has identified domestic violence as another major challenge facing the family within in Country.

While speaking to our reporter during an interview at his office at St.Kalori Lwanga Parish in Mbikko on Martyrs Day, Fr. Joe decried an increase in domestic violence as the country is under lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

‘’This Moment of Lockdown has brought families together and that has
brought in the good or worst of people. Reports from police indicate
the numbers of domestic cases have increased. My word to them is why
did you marry the person you decided to marry, why did come together
if it was not love then the foundation was already spoilt ‘’, said

The man of God said that as many children during the lockdown, parents should give them more time and embrace love to the family.

‘’it’s a time of deep reflection to couples and those intending to marry. It is important to choose a person that you can stay with during all situations. I call on all parents and guardians to take on your responsibilities, your children need special attention now’’, he added.

The violence takes the form of physical fighting with some husbands beating up their wives, “in some cases wives beat their husbands, child beating, the defilement of children, including incest “and young girls are not free to live in society,” the Father decried.

Uganda’s ministry of gender, labour and social development on Tuesday issued a stern warning to perpetrators of domestic violence against women and children during the COVID-19 period.

In April this year, Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development revealed that there has been an increase in gender-based violence since the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“Some of these cases have already claimed lives of Ugandans even before COVID-19 does so,” Tumwebaze said, adding that between March 30 and April 28, a total of 3,280 cases of GBV were reported to Police.

This is in addition to 283 cases of Violence against Children, according to the ministry.

In the previous years, millions of people from within and outside Uganda thronged both the Anglican and Catholic Shrines to commemorate the Martyrs, a brave group of young men who died while defending their faith.

The celebration of Uganda Martyrs Day is every June 3 which is a national holiday, however this year due to the COVI-19 Pandemic a few people were allowed to access Namugongo and the rest held masses at their respective parishes with the norm of social distancing.

The 22 catholic martyrs were as a group beatified by Pope Benedict XV and canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964, as Saints.

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