Bride price traps women in relationships that they cant get out from
MIFUMI is one of very few organisations in Uganda and across the continent that provides direct domestic violence services to survivors and other people experiencing domestic violence. As such, a core aspect of MIFUMI’s model of work involves a physical presence right in the communities where we work, so that our team of dedicated staff are able to interface directly and personally with beneficiaries on a daily basis. This is what makes MIFUMI unique.
MIFUMI’s presence on the ground means we can ably respond to challenges with realistic solutions that are informed by the service users themselves. Critical among MIFUMI’s service portfolio includes:
Domestic violence shelters provide a place of refuge to protect survivors from further harm and reduce stigma while they access medical, legal and psycho-social support services.
Shelters serve as points of emergency crisis accommodation for women and children whose lives are at risk and as the first phase of MIFUMI’s resettlement into a violence free community.
MIFUMI shelters are spread across four districts in key regions of Uganda; Three of them; in Masaka, Mbarara and Moroto were established with funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) under the UN Joint Program on Gender Equality. The program is implemented through a multi-sectoral framework to improve access to gender based violence services.
MIFUMI also independently manages The Haven, a purpose built domestic violence shelter in Tororo and the very first of its kind in Uganda.
The idea of a women’s domestic violence shelter is still new in Ugandan culture. Many times when women are beaten, they run to their parents and relatives for refuge. These relatives invariably send them back to their abusive spouses because they cannot afford to refund bride price or because leaving a relationship is seen as not just the woman’s failing but the family’s by extension as well. A shelter serves to break this cycle of violence to give women respite from abuse.
The shelters are considered safe spaces for women experiencing violence and are women only spaces. They have provided refuge to more than 1000 women.
Legal Aid is one of the services MIFUMI provides as part of both response and prevention of violence against women. MIFUMI uses the Charitable Model with regard to legal aid: with this model, legal services-assistance and representation is provided free of charge by various service providers. MIFUMI provides comprehensive legal aid services through a wide range of legal aid service providers, as well as a team of in-house lawyers who are qualified to offer legal opinion and support survivors through the legal process. The legal aid service may include, but may not be limited to; legal advice, drafting legal and court documents, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), general court representation/litigation including individual representation before court, tribunal and dispute resolution, systematic advocacy. We are challenging discriminatory practices and laws by advocating for change or reform in both policy and practice for lasting impact in favour of the marginalised, underprivileged and vulnerable as well as public education and outreach.