Concern has been raised over high cases of Gender-Based Violence in Kiambu with the County Government statistics showing that 17.7 per cent of women in the County were subjected to violence.
According to a survey done last year by a research firm, 21.8 per cent of the women are married. The main form of GBV was emotional (82%), physical (26%) and sexual (36%), with others experiencing more than one form of violence.
The survey was done by the Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) between November and December last year and involved 770 respondents.
In most cases, the women were either slapped, hit with an object, yelled at or threatened to be killed with a weapon.
Out of the cases, 25 per cent of the women reported the matter, while the rest failed with those who reported disclosing to family members, friends or neighbours.
The violence was mainly attributed to the Covid-19 era which brought about household instabilities and financial stress.
During the launch of the Thika Sub- County GBV Committee, the County Director of Gender, Olympia Karimi, said they have set aside funds to establish a Rescue Center for GBV victims.
She said GBV cases have increased since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic, which has made the County to hasten the process.
Karimi attributed the increase to alcoholism and drug abuse due to joblessness and frustrations.
She said in most cases GBV victims shy away from reporting to the authorities, thus ending up not getting justice.
“The campaign is to educate the victims to know their rights and come out openly whenever they are attacked,” she said.
Gladys Chania, a psychologist and Gender Based Violence crusader, said murder cases among college students in Thika town are on the rise hence the need for the government intervention.
Three students from a local university have since died in separate incidents in the last four months after they were stabbed to death by their alleged lover.
She attributed the rise to drug abuse among students and peer pressure.
GBV Crusader said there was need to have a customer care desk at all police stations and community centres to specifically address such cases.
By Muoki Charles