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County official calls for research to establish causes of GBV

There is need to carry out a thorough research to establish the factors behind the ever-increasing cases of Gender Based Violence in Kilifi County, a CEC member has said.

Dr Anisa Omar, the Kilifi County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Gender Culture, Social Services, said that although GBV cases had increased since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the main reason(s) for the increase had not been ascertained.

Speaking to journalists at the Cleopatra Grounds in Malindi town where she was the Chief Guest at a function to mark the 16 days of activism against GBV, Dr Omar said that since the beginning of the year, about 1,870 cases of GBV had been reported in the county this year alone, out of which only 400 had been handled by the police.

She attributed this to stigmatization and retrogressive cultures and traditions and urged the society to believe the victims of GBV and assist them instead of judging them.

“We need, as a County Government, to carry out more research to understand the challenges that are contributing to the increase in GBV cases. Apart from Covid-19, there must be other issues within society which we must understand so we can strategize on how to deal with them,” she said.

For this to happen, the CEC member said there was need for more funding from the County and National Governments as well as Non-Governmental Organizations.

Dr Omar noted that both the female and male genders were experiencing GBV, noting that at least ten cases of GBV against men, women and children are reported at the Kilifi County Referral Hospital alone daily.

The County Director of Gender Services, Mr Mwangome Shumaa, said GBV had adversely affected development activities among members of the society.

“We have heard of men being beaten by their wives, women being denied inheritance and sexual violence against young boys and girls, and this has rendered it difficult for society to be actively involved in development,” he said.

Ms Sheila Mugambi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Legal Aid, an organization that provides pro bono legal services to GBV victims said many GBV cases, especially those involving custody and maintenance, were being handled through Court Annexed Mediation.

“Eighty percent of our cases that involve sexual violence and defilement have been concluded within a period of one year with the help of our mediators and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP),” she said.

By Emmanuel Masha



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