A child rights crusader in Nyeri County has called on parents to be more watchful of their children during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic as cases of child sexual abuse are on the rise.
The surge in sexual abuse of minors during this period of the contagion has closely been linked to lack of proper monitoring of children as they continue to say at home following closure of schools to curb the spread of the virus.
It is for this reason that Ann Wambui who runs a foundation dubbed Neema Rescue Centre, said parents and caretakers need to be more vigilant to break the cycle of child abuse, noting that the county had recorded 37 cases since the outbreak of the pandemic.
She called on parents whose children may have been abused to come out in the open so that they can be assisted in getting their lives back on track.
“Mine is to let the society know help is available for the victims as well as raise awareness of unacceptability of child sex abuse,” the child rights crusader said.
She said it is through counseling that victims can be able to overcome the long-term effects of the abuse that can cause serious damage to cognitive, social and emotional development of a child.
Speaking while counselling tens of victims and their parents at Youth Empowerment Centre in Nyeri Town, Ms. Wambui said her passion came about after her close friend’s daughter was defiled and later committed suicide for lack of necessary emotional support.
The child advocate said she was alarmed by the rise in child abuse cases in the area and called on the society to appreciate that such acts are everyone’s problem and responsibility and should in no way be condoned.
Besides counseling, Ms. Wambui said she also been assisting victims get legal representation in courts of law to get justice.
She said her overall vision was to put up a rescue center where victims can be harbored for some time to help them regain self-esteem, lost identity due to effects of abuse as well as teach them life skills and coping mechanisms.
The lobbyist called on leaders and other well-wishers to support her in this venture.
A young mother whose four-year-old daughter was indecently assaulted by her teen cousin said she is yet to get justice in court as the family of the perpetrator had gone to all lengths to ensure the case does not proceed.
While narrating the ordeal her daughter underwent, the mother said the incident happened two years ago and the young girl is still under medication as the suspect roams around freely.
By Samuel Waititu