Kisauni Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Cyrus Gatobu has blamed the high rate of drugs and substance abuse in the coastal region for the rising cases of domestic violence.
The administrator called for concerted efforts and collaboration from all the stakeholders in confronting the drugs epidemic that is adversely affecting the youth.
Speaking at a human rights forum organised by civil society groups, the administrator called on people to change their behavior to minimize the cases involving drugs and sex crimes at homes.
Gatobu said the emergence of criminal gangs in the coastal city high on drugs were also to blame for the high levels of gender-based violence in the region.
He asked wananchi to notify the security agents about any suspicious activities in their localities and urged them to join hands with the police in fighting drug abuse.
The sub county is teeming with knife- and machete -wielding youth high on contraband substances and visiting terror on residents and visitors.
Last week a new gang calling itself ‘86 battalion’ attacked residents in Bamburi area injuring 12 people and left residents living in fear.
Previously criminal gangs such as Wakali Kwanza, Wakali Wao, Gaza and Spatter staged attacks and acts of sexual harassment by suckling women’s breasts.
He said there is need for increased and sustained public awareness campaigns to break the stigma associated with sexual violence.
The newly posted DCC said sexual violence is a serious crime punishable with many years of imprisonment.
At the same time, Betty Sharon the chairlady for Coast Women in Development noted gender-based violence continues to be a big social issue in the coastal region.
She decried the growing cases of defilement, rape, sodomy and femicide, which she said are the killing of women and girls because of their gender.
The human rights activist said the coast region is worst hit by gender-based violence with the brutality in some cases resulting in deaths.
She said despite the existence of various pieces of legislation to curb gender-based violence the problem still persists and blamed the judiciary for the low conviction rates in cases involving sexual violence.
By Hussein Abdullahi