Meru county commissioner, Fred Ndunga has launched a multi-sectoral campaign programme against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the county.
Speaking to the public at the Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital during the launch, Ndunga said reported GBV cases were on an upward trend in all the sub-counties.
Ndunga said the current status was a wakeup call for all players in the health and public security sector to intensify campaigns against the vice aimed at realising a friendly environment in which people of all ages can live without fear of being victims of GBV.
The administrator said the information was drawn from cases reported in police stations and health facilities across the county, pointing out that the cases could be more since some of them go unreported due to pressure and influence beyond the control of the victims.
He urged all deputy county commissioners in the county to commit to mobilizing other national government administrative officers in their areas of jurisdiction to intensify public sensitization and participation in catching up with GBV perpetrators for them to face the full force of the law.
The county administrator said people of all walks of life had a personal responsibility to guard against GBV, saying everybody in the society was a potential victim of the vice, contrary to times when it was thought to only affect the poor and marginalized members of the community.
‘It is possible to have people suffering from GBV within the elite families as well as those perceived to be the richest in the society.’ Ndunga said.
Ndunga said chiefs and their assistant chiefs should be more proactive and remain on high alert as they work in close liaison with the area managers, Nyumba kumi committees and the larger community members to have all GBV perpetrators flashed out and brought to book.
He regretted that incest was a common trend in the county, where such cases tend to go unreported as the victims were more often than not compromised or threatened with dire consequences upon reporting to the authorities.
The administrator further cautioned anybody entrusted with the task of containing the vice in the county against any form of compromise by the perpetrators or their relatives, saying nobody should be left free to continue perpetrating the vice while their victims were suffering from trauma among other GBV effects.
By Makaa Margaret