Sexual violence in Kenya has been on the rise lately, and with the various organisations that have been put in place to help victims of sexual violence, a lot needs to be done since most people are now asking the victims questions which should not even be asked in the first place, taking the case of a female member of parliament in Kenya who accused a colleague of sexual violence, looking at the social media we could see people asking her why she was meeting a man at such a time. Are women now not allowed to be out at night?
Remember the time street harassment was taking up in Kenya which sparkled the #MydressMyChoice campaign? It was also not uncommon to find individuals pointing fingers at the victim’s way of dressing and others openly saying that the victims deserved to be raped. Well, school children get raped, our grandmothers too! So sexual violence should not be a question of dressing at all. What about those instances where victims of sexual violence report to police officers on duty in police stations and end up experiencing the same ordeal once again and threats are issued for them not to report to anyone what happened?
This kind of attitude will spark fear in the hearts of those who have experienced sexual violence and they will not come out for help. This will also cripple all the concerted efforts of both governmental and Non-governmental Organizations to help victims of sexual violence. This poses a danger to their lives due to the psychological trauma one may experience not forgetting the adverse health risk an individual faces.
I am happy to note that Nyeri County took a step in helping victims of violence by setting up a Gender based violence desk at the Nyeri Central Police Station where victims can report these instances. All other leaders, especially women representatives in various counties should follow closely in these footsteps to help achieve justice for victims of sexual violence countrywide. What step has your county taken to end SGBV?