Busia Launches 16 Days Of Activism Against Gender Based Violence


Story/Reuben Olita

The 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) kicked off in Busia County on Wednesday with damning revelation that over 13,800 cases of women and children have been sexually assaulted since the first case was reported in the county in 1998.

The campaign against GBV is part of United Nation Women’s efforts for Beijing and building up to launch bold new actions and commitments to end violence against women at the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico and France in 2021.
As the caravan was flagged off to traverse the county with special message to residents and GBV perpetrators, Deputy County Commissioner, Kipchumba Rutto told victims of GBV and those who report such cases to call 1195 to get access to justice.

The DCC said GBV is violation of human rights as enshrined in article 27 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, putting perpetrators on notice that the law will not spare those who violate it.  County Director for  Gender, Mr Bernard Makeni revealed that cases of sexual violence against women and children has doubled since the onset of Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“We are using the 16 days to fight the vice by educating county residents especially men to avoid sexual abuse and respect the other gender,” he said, adding that men should also stop the culture of assuming they are the only one with a say in the family, thus subduing women to submission.
Director, Rural Education and Economic Enhancement Programme (REEP), Mary Makokha said since March 2020, three children have died from cases related to GBV, noting that 103 were rescued from early marriages, 86 fell victims of early pregnancy while 64 were defiled.

“Among those who have been sexually abused include an 88-year-old woman in Butula. This is a clear sign that GBV needs sponsorship to avail facilities like safe houses and centres for the victims,” she said.
She added: “The rising number of women and children who are sexually abused in the county is a wake-up call that women should no-longer remain silent if they are assaulted by their husbands or engage in kangaroo court business to hide the perpetrators of the heinous act,” she said.

Ms Makokha urged residents to report such cases to relevant authorities, adding that parents should also educate their children on what is abuse.


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