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Government launches protection against domestic violence rules to end GBV

The government has unveiled its first national plan aimed at putting an end to Gender Based Violence (GBV) and providing comprehensive protection to those affected by it.

Speaking during the official launch of the Protection Against Domestic Violence Rules on Monday, Gender and Public Service Cabinet Secretary (CS) Aisha Jumwa made a resolute declaration of the government’s commitment to zero tolerance for GBV.

She emphasized that the rules would establish transparent procedures for obtaining protection orders, ensuring that survivors have prompt access to effective legal remedies.

“The government has a zero tolerance on GBV so today I want to declare total war on GBV and as a Cabinet Secretary, I want to assure you I will be at the forefront because I am a survivor/victim of this, but I have healed and I want society to be free from GBV,” she affirmed.

Jumwa underscored that the rules place significant emphasis on prevention and early intervention.

“They highlight the imperative for legal duty bearers to treat survivors with compassion, while also ensuring that the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions,” she explained.

Furthermore, the government is actively working towards establishing a GBV survivor’s fund.

“This fund will operate on a co-financing model, in collaboration with private sector entities, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders, to economically empower GBV survivors,” she added.

Addressing an existing challenge, Jumwa spoke about the hurdles faced by GBV survivors in obtaining a P3 form, a crucial document for seeking justice.

She pointed out that the cost of the form often serves as a barrier and can lead to re-victimization. In response, she advocated for rendering this service free of charge.

Jumwa also highlighted the pivotal role of public awareness and community engagement in the fight against GBV.

She stressed that these initiatives will help challenge the social norms and attitudes that perpetuate domestic violence, reinforcing the impact of the new rules.

“Through targeted awareness campaigns, education initiatives, and community dialogues, we aim to foster a society that embraces equality, respect, and non-violence,” she added.

The CS called for a unified effort from all stakeholders, including government bodies, development partners, civil society, community leaders, and every Kenyan citizen, to ensure the effective implementation of these rules.

Recent data from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2022 reveal the alarming extent of GBV in the country. It shows that 34 percent of women in Kenya have experienced physical violence since the age of 15 years, emphasizing the urgency and significance of this new initiative. Amongst the statistics, it is noted that 20 percent of women aged 15–19 have experienced physical violence since age 15, as compared to 42 percent of women aged 45–49.

 By Nice Wambui and Carol Mawia

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