Study: 5,000 cases of gender violence reported last year
Slightly over 5,000 cases of Gender-Based Violence were reported last year, Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia has said.
She said the cases reported through the national GBV toll-free helpline 1195 showed an increase of 1,411 (36 per cent) from the previous year.
Nairobi, Kakamega, Kisumu, Nakuru and Kiambu counties reported the highest cases of GBV, she said.
“Due to increased cases of GBV during the Covid-19 pandemic, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the National Crime Research Centre to carry out a study to establish the causes of the increased cases of GBV,” said the CS when she released the findings in Nairobi, yesterday.
The study shows the cases recorded between January and June last year rose by 92 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
Kobia said the study identified factors contributing to GBV as alcohol, drug and substance abuse, poverty, family or domestic disputes and retrogressive cultural beliefs and practices.
Other factors include poor parenting or upbringing and moral decadence, identity crisis among the youth and lack of support systems.
The most common forms of GBV identified in the study were physical assault, rape or attempted rape, murder, defilement, grievous harm, physical abuse, child marriages, psychological torture and child neglect.
“I wish to appeal to all members of the public to... stand against GBV by among other things reporting incidences, supporting victims, speaking out against harmful and retrogressive cultural beliefs and practices,” Kobia said.
In response to these cases, Kobia (below) said the government deployed a multi-pronged approach.
In September 2020, for instance, she said the Cabinet approved an inter-agency strategy to deal with the matter, which included stakeholders form Public Service and Gender, Interior, Education, ICT, Health and Labour ministries, counties, development partners and other non-state actors.
She said that the government, in recognition of the contribution of Covid-19 pandemic to GBV crisis, made investment through social safety nets and cash transfers.
Some of the measures available to the public for use, said Kobia include toll-free hotlines which include the National GBV Helpline 1195, National Police Helpline – 0800730999 under Police care, and Child Helpline-116 to provide services such as anonymous reporting, assistance to survivors, tele-counselling and referrals for medical and legal services.