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Concern mounts over rising domestic violence cases

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She says most victims depend solely on their partners who at some point may perceive them as a “burden.”

According to the CS, 40 percent of women aged between 15 to 49 have been exposed to violence, particularly those in marriages.

She says the government will be engaging faith-based organizations to enhance awareness against the menace as well as increase the Gender rescue centres in public hospitals.

Her views are echoed by Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie, who says the menace now risks destroying the important unit of a society.

“That is not the direction that we should be going while trying to solve family disputes. The family unit is under threat in this country,” she cautions.

Her sentiments are echoed by Machakos First Lady Lilian Nganga, who says there is need for, “more conversation on when is the right time to say no.”

On her part, the Executive Director Gender Violence Recovery Centre at Nairobi Women’s Hospital says the menace will only be contained if the country stop being reactive and address the root problem.

“It starts from birth…from how we raise our children,” she says. “We have stopped having humanity since we can simply communicate.”

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She laments that there is a complete lack of support system in the society.

“There is a lot of cover up at the family level, and this worsens the situation,” she points out.

At the police station, she says the officers in the most instances lacks the basic training on how to deal with a GBV victim.

“When you to go court, the process is just too long… then we have very few child courts,” she says. “In some of our courts, the cases are mixed up.”

Taita Taveta Women Representative Joyce Lay says it is more of a community problem since, “we stigmatise them instead of helping them.”

“The men are not coming out to speak out, we know they are suffering inside but they need to come out and speak,” she says.

According to Lay, men should lead in the war against the vice.

“We want men on the fore front to fight gender based violence since what we are doing as women, is defending ourselves,” she points out while adding that, “most awareness campaigns are only attended by women.”

FIDA chairperson Josephine Mongare urges people in an abusive relationship to call it quits.

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