This research examines the response of the Ugandan criminal justice system to homicides committed by women, in particular women who have experienced domestic violence.
A survey of women in prison who have been convicted for murder and manslaughter showed that 19 per cent had killed a male partner or family member.
The findings of this report highlight that the needs of women who have experienced domestic violence are frequently neglected within the criminal justice system. Domestic violence is rarely reported, but when it is, victims receive limited legal support. In addition, women in prison who have experienced domestic violence have limited access to psychosocial services due to an absence of qualified health practitioners in women’s prisons.
The study also analysed the legal framework and judicial practices in homicide cases involving women who are victims of domestic violence and found that, although a history of abuse is not a defence in law, some judges take domestic violence into account as a mitigating factor.