NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10 – In recent times cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) have been on the rise, with human rights organisation and women leaders cautioning it risks destroying the crucial unit of a society – the family.
Both men and women are victims of GBV and the trend is rising as the clock ticks and worse, it has extended to children.
Alberta Wambua, the Executive Director Gender Violence Recovery Centre at Nairobi Women’s Hospital gives a recount of recent cases they have dealt with.
In the month of July, she says a woman succumbed to injuries immediately after she was admitted to the hospital after she was assaulted by her husband, while yet another man, still in the same month, “came while holding his testicles in a paper bag and part of his penis cut.”
Her organisation has been in existence for 15 years where at least 33,000 victims of domestic violence have been treated.
Last year alone, 3,366 survivors of gender based violence sought medical assistance from their five facilities in the country.
Capital FM News interviewed a married woman, in a bid to comprehend why a person would continue staying in an abusive marriage, his or her hope anchored on “my partner will change.”
“As an African woman, it’s embarrassing to be divorced. People look at you as a failure; they ask you why you gave up. When you say it was tough, they laugh and say that marriages are tough everywhere, ‘nikuvumiliana tu’,” the resident of Nairobi, married for more than 10 years said on condition of anonymity.
“It’s also tough to leave when you have kids, and not financially stable. For instance, a woman in her early 30s, with no meaningful skills may wonder where to start with the job hunt, who will feed, house and educate her kids?” she poses.
“Further, are you leaving him to go spend the rest of your life alone? Because the truth is, no man of nowadays will willingly take up the burden of raising another man’s kids. Which means this woman will be confined to a life of loneliness. ”
“Women are the biggest believers of marriages. We all have that dream of a prince charming who will come to change our life. So when you kill that dream by telling a woman to leave, she may not, as she is always secretly hoping the guy changes. ”
But at what point does hell break lose?
– Leaders and Right Groups views on GBV –
The major contributing factor to the current trend according to Youths and Gender Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki is the” economic and social status between the victim and the culprit.”