Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a recent global pandemic associated with multidimensional health-related effects. In the fight against the spread of this novel pandemic, the majority have been living under restrictive conditions during its related lockdown that has created a conducive environment for gender-based violence (GBV). Our study aimed to ascertain the burden and determinants of GBV during the COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdown and curfew (CPLC) in Uganda.
We conducted a quantitative descriptive cross-sectional study in Bushenyi-Ishaka municipality, southwestern Uganda in May, 2020. This study involved 339 adult participants regardless of their gender or ethnicity. Only 12 potential respondents declined to participate in this survey.
The prevalence of GBV during the CPLC was 42 per cent. The majority (57%) of victims were women. More than half (54%) of the victims and survivors of GBV attributed the violence to the lockdown. The determinants of GBV included being married, using substances of abuse and having financial problems.
The prevalence of GBV skyrocketed during the CPLC in Uganda when compared to the period prior to the pandemic. Women were significantly more affected in all aspects of GBV. Therefore, we recommend developing targeted behavioural change communication strategies based upon our findings.