The Risk of Return: Intimate Partner Violence in Northern Uganda's Armed Conflict


Annan, Jeannie, and Moriah Brier. 2010. “The Risk of Return: Intimate Partner Violence in Northern Uganda’s Armed Conflict.” Social Science & Medicine 70 (1): 152–9. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.09.027.

Authors: Jeannie Annan, Moriah Brier


The physical and psychological consequences of armed conflict and intimate partner violence are well documented. Less research focuses on their intersection and the linkages between domestic violence, gender-based discrimination, and the structural violence of poverty in armed conflict. This paper describes emerging themes from qualitative interviews with young women who have returned from abduction into the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda, many of whom were forcibly given as "wives" to commanders. Their interviews reveal multiple levels of violence that some women experience in war, including physical and sexual violence in an armed group, verbal and physical abuse from extended family members, and intimate partner violence. Striking is the violence they describe after escaping from the rebels, when they are back with their families. The interviews point to how abduction into the armed group may exacerbate problems but highlight the structural factors that permit and sustain intimate partner violence, including gender inequalities, corruption in the police system, and devastating poverty. Findings suggest that decreasing household violence will depend on the strength of interventions to address all levels, including increasing educational and economic opportunities, increasing accountability of the criminal justice system, minimizing substance abuse, and improving the coping mechanisms of families and individuals exposed to extreme violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Domestic Violence, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Households, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, SV against Women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2010

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at