Sunday, 21 May 2017

The police protection

Dr. Etonu Joseph 

It was a usual afternoon at Kapelebyong Health center 4,in Uganda, like everyday during my work I see all patients with different conditions.Some of them are brought by a policeman and this would be because of assault or even rape sometimes.But this day had i saw a police officer,a gentleman well built and strong sitting in the waiting area waiting to see me. As usual because I knew he had other day duties. I allowed him into my doctor's room. I expected him to be accompanying the usual cases of rape or violence but was I wrong.

Entering the room he closes the door behind him and he sat down. So i asked him "What can I do for you?" He replied it is I who needs help, "yesterday night I was attacked by my wife and she was bitting me with her teeth" He showed me all the bite marks on the hands and the back. I felt for him because 1st of all he is a Man! And also a police man. And being in the village many men usually beat their wives and sometimes they injure them so badly. But it was very humbling to notice this policeman keeping himself calm. And he did not beat his wife(Being physically strong He didnot even fight back). I advised him to get help for his wife because he was not safe living with her.

But it got me suprised that if a policeman can seek for help on the abusive nature of his wife.Then that means he loves her and it could also mean that he respects the rule of law.But it also got me thinking as we call police for help, who helps the police when they are in trouble..?


I am Dr. Etonu Joseph, Junior medical doctor from Uganda 29 years of age, I've been practicing for 2 years in a rural area in Uganda in a county called Kapelebyong county. I Started my work when I was 26 years old in the facility. Iam the only doctor there covering the health of 89,000 people. Being a very rural area very few doctors attempted to work there but so far i am the one who has lasted the longest in the facility..The people I serve are the humble indigenous rural people of Karamoja and also Kapelebyong county..I graduated in 2012 at the University of St. Petersburg Pavlov,the Russian Federation. But i started working in this rural area in late 2014. I ride a motorcycle to work because the roads are soo bad in the rains that sometimes it rains on me!  BUT I LOVE MY WORK and I have learnt a lot from the people I serve. 

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Etonu Joseph,

    I would like to thank you for sharing your experience of supporting a male victim of domestic abuse. It must have been a very difficult decision for the police officer to
    have disclosed his abuse and to have sought your help. I understand your surprise to hear that men can and do experience violence and abuse from their partners. However, the problem is much more common than many would think.

    I have recently submitted my PhD thesis which explored the needs of male victims of domestic abuse and existing support provision in Wales. My two main findings was a lack of recognition of the issue and limited support services. The lack of recognition was a dominant theme that negatively influenced men’s ability to accept their victimisation, their understanding of domestic abuse and delayed help-seeking. For male participants within my study this meant they lived with prolonged periods of violence and abuse. It may be likely that the police officer you spoke with has experienced a number of violent and abusive experiences before making the decision to seek your help. It is important to understand that domestic abuse goes far beyond physical violence. Victims of either gender experience psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse and controlling behaviours. You mention in your blog that you the police officer loves his wife. For the men in my study, their love for their wives/partners was yet another barrier to them seeking help, they desired to protect them and seeking help meant they were no longer doing so.

    It is really positive to know that you took the time to listen. For the men in my study, having someone to talk to and to listen to them and to believe them was a very important factor of their recovery. I would be very interested to hear the outcome for the police officer and where he accessed the additional help that you advised him to seek? It would also be interesting to know the advice that you provide to women who might seek your help for their injuries?

    For your interest, findings from my study has informed the development a service map of domestic abuse support services for men in Wales. The map can be accessed through the following link:

    Once more, thank you for sharing and if there is anything you would like to ask, please do so.
    Sarah Wallace