In this story, a couple overcame domestic violence and legalized their relationship with the help of Justice Centres Uganda.
In June 2020, Paul reported an emotional violence case to the JCU Bundibugyo Centre. Paul was desperate, claiming that his partner Maria was stressing him out. The two had cohabited for 17 years and had five children; 4 girls and 1 boy. He reported that she was in the habit of leaving their home and abandoning their children for days without informing him. He further claimed that she had on various occasions insulted him in front of their children causing him to sink into depression.
Maria was invited for mediation at the Bundibugyo offices and during the conversation, it was discovered that Paul, being a pastor, also used to leave their home for long periods without communicating to her and used to leave her to fend for the children all by herself. Maria stated that she chose to leave their home out of frustration. She was also denied access to their cocoa gardens and felt unloved and not properly taken care of.
Both parties acknowledged the fact that they had both contributed to the violence that was going on. They also admitted that the violence resulted from poor communication. Both parties agreed to mutually respect each other and learn how to communicate better with each other. Maria was also granted access to their gardens. After the mediation the parties were guided on the status of their relationship and the importance of legalising the same. In April 2021, a cheerful Maria visited JCU offices together with her partner who appreciated JCU for our intervention. They informed the JCU team that they and their children are now living happily and they had legalised their union in church. Maria was quoted saying, “Thank you JCU for bringing peace and happiness in my home.”
This lovely couple was able to identify the root cause of their problems which also affected their children and exposed them to violence. The Centre had an opportunity to help a family overcome emotional and economic violence as well as helping the couple legalise their union.