Kuchu Times Media Group with support from Taboom Media has held a weeklong online campaign on Intimate Partner Violence among Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer (LBQ) women titled Tosilika Yogera. The purpose of this campaign was to raise awareness first on the prevalence of intimate partner violence in LBQ relationships, its forms and where to get help might one fall victim of this kind of violence.
The campaign also targeted to teach LBQ communities how to identify intimate partner violence because not all victims are aware or bold enough to seek for help.
We run messages on our social media platforms, had one on one interviews from victims, perpetrators or witnesses and from these managed to develop messages we know taught a thing or two to the community. “As we create awareness on Intimate Partner Violence, let’s not forget the role played by counsellors, we as LBQ organizations should train counsellors and providers of psychosocial support so that their services are tailored to the needs of LBQ women.” said Ashe our Kuchu Times correspondent from Kasese.
Tindi said, “Much as the LBQ community in Uganda has grown over time and organizations serving LBQ women have increased in number, LBQ women have continued to suffer issues of Intimate Partner Violence because most times, people cannot distinguish if they are in a healthy or unhealthy relationship. And the moment one cannot be able to tell when their relationship is unhealthy for either both of them or for one party, then problem solving will forever be a hard task. Some of these women have fear to confront/address the problems that they are going through in their relationships because of fear to be outed, fear to not be able to find another partner, fear to face more violence from their partner after reporting them. Some of victims are not even aware that there are avenues where they can perhaps seek counselling or justice incase faced with these problems of intimate partner violence so they endure the torture and mistreatment and just hope for a miracle.
Cha Cha who has come out to share that she is a victim of recurring abuse said, “I have experienced and felt a low self-worth and it affected me psychologically. Sometimes I keep going back to my partner thinking maybe she changed, but I end up getting affected over and over again, and it has been hard to let go completely. She has so much love at times but time comes when she wants to take over, hit me hard, injure me at times and maybe because I don’t think I can move on”
From the panel we had with LBQ women, we were enlightened on the reasons why people stay in these relationships we have deemed toxic; it’s not always easy leaving the abusive person. Financial dependence was a recurring factor because of the economic discrimination faced by sexual and gender minorities in Uganda. When one has few meals a day and a roof over their heads they have confessed to abuse being a small amount to pay for these luxuries.
Organizations however during this panel pledged their support to victims of intimate partner violence offering temporary shelter, legal aid and psychosocial support.
This campaign was a week long and there are conversations we started that we have to keep having if we are to have any tangible results. As siblings we need to be each other’s keepers and be kinder to one another. Perpetrators of intimate partner violence need to have these conversations with themselves and seek the help they need to break these cycles.
Kuchu Times Media Group still wants to hear your stories even after this and we shall continue to share the lived realities until the place is safe for all of us! Tosilika, Yogera