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Stakeholders want GBV data harmonized

The Director of the Auditor General, Performance Directorate, Ms Joyce Ndungu, has asked Anti Gender Based Violence actors in Makueni County to harmonize their data to effectively combat the evil.

Ndungu said that there is need to correlate Gender Based Violence (GBV) data to know the actual cases on the ground in order to allocate resources properly and make informed decisions.

“There have been cases where GBV reports from the police department, hospitals and other institutions have differed yet the area producing the figures is the same. This creates conflict on how to address the cases,” said Ndungu, Tuesday, during a tour with her officers to audit the State Department of Gender Affairs in Makueni in a GBV subcommittee meeting held at a hotel in Wote town.

The area Director of the State Department of Gender Affairs, Douglas Mukanda, echoed Ndungu’s sentiments, observing that there is need to centralize the reporting of GBV cases in the County.

“Some GBV victims report to police stations and they don’t visit hospitals for treatment due to stigma while others report to health centers for treatment and avoid the police out of fear and being threatened hence the discrepancy in data,” said Mukanda.

He further stressed the need for constructing GBV recovery centers and safe shelters in each sub-county in Makueni to take care of vulnerable GBV victims.

“GBV victims who report to police stations at night end up suffering on where to sleep as the stations don’t have designated rooms to house while hospitals cannot admit them since some are not cases that require admission,” Mukanda explained.

Makueni County Referral Hospital Psychologist, Penninah Ndonye, decried the lack of GBV recovery centers and safe homes that has hindered the fight against GBV cases as victims have to go back where they were abused exposing themselves to more danger.

“We have heard a case where we rescued a GBV victim and kept her under treatment and counselling for a while and after we released her and went home. She was killed within a month,” said the Psychologist.

She further called for establishment of economic empowerment programs as majority of cases occur in poor homesteads and set ups after financial related misunderstandings.

The Psychologist also revealed that in many incidents the perpetrators are usually drunk, stressing the need to address the problem of drug and substance abuse, adding that everyone has a mandate to prevent and respond to GBV issues in the County.

By Patrick Nyakundi

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