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Police: Domestic Violence Leading Cause of Suicide in Aswa River Region

Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson says other incidents of suicide recorded resulted from economic hardship, trauma related to HIV, fear of responsibilities, alcoholism and mental health challenges.
Patrick Jimmy Okema PRO Aswa River Region
Domestic violence between married couples and other family members is the leading cause of suicide in Northern Uganda, according to Aswa River Region Police. Data from police covering a period of three years indicates that Domestic Violence was to blame for majority of suicide cases recorded in the region. It indicates that 110 people have committed suicide in the region since the beginning of 2016.

Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson says other incidents of suicide recorded resulted from economic hardship, trauma related to HIV, fear of responsibilities, alcoholism and mental health challenges. Okema says suicide cases rose from 25 in 2016 to 48 in 2017. He says so far 37 cases have been recorded this year.

Although the data is silent on which district leads in suicide cases in the post conflict region, Gulu district is struggling to recover from the death of Aldo Otto Okot, the District Education Officer in charge of administration and sports after he committed suicide on December 1st at his home in Pece Division in Gulu Municipality.

Police recovered Otto's lifeless body under a Jack fruit tree in his compound with a piece of broken Nylon rope stuck to his throat. The postmortem indicated that he committed suicide. During his burial at their ancestral home in Pader district, his family said Aldo committed suicide over work stress shortly after he appeared before a Standing Committee investigating mismanagement of Pece Stadium funds.  

Uganda ranked number 17 among countries with high suicide cases in 2014, according to the World health Organization. The organization says suicide is a serious public health problem in Uganda with 18.67 per 100,000 deaths in Uganda resulting from suicide.

According to the WHO, while the link between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders) is well established in high-income countries, many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with stress such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.

In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, or loss and a sense of isolation are strongly associated with suicidal behavior.