Cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Kenya increased up from 1,411 cases in 2019 to 5009 cases in 2020, a study has found.
During a briefing on Thursday, Gender Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia said between January and March 2021 the country had already recorded 877 cases with a high prevalence in Nairobi, Kakamega, Kisumu, Nakuru, and Kiambu Counties.
In light of the rising GBV cases, in September 2020, the Cabinet approved an inter-agency strategy that includes; stakeholders to deal with issues of GBV and six ministries which include the Ministry of Public Service & Gender, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Ministry of Health and the Labour Ministry, County Governments and development partners.
Additionally, the government is reported to have made investments through social safety nets cash transfers, and affirmative funds to provide support to self-help groups.
According to the CS, loans worth Ksh 300 million (from WEF), Ksh 60 million (from Uwezo Fund), and Ksh 80 million (from the Youth Fund) are now disbursed every month.
CS Kobia at the same time acknowledged the issue of GBV is complex, affects families and the government cannot win the fight single-handedly hence urging all sections of society to play their role whether big or small in preventing the vice and save the society.
In encouraging the public to report GVB cases, the CS said that measures available for use by the public include: National GBV Helpline 1195, National Police Helpline – 0800730999 under Police care, and Child Helpline-116 to provide assistance to survivors, tele- counseling, and referrals for medical and legal services.
In addition, members of the public can access prevention and response structures through County GBV Working Groups established by the National & County Governments which consists of: law enforcement agents, social workers, medical personnel, non-state actors to facilitate the prevention and response to GBV.
There are 36 shelters operated by Civil Society Organizations in 13 Counties of Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Kwale, Samburu, Kajiado, Murang’a, Laikipia, Kiambu, Nyeri, Meru, Machakos, and Makueni.
The National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) has also established rescue centers for GBV to support survivors in West Pokot, Bungoma, Vihiga, Meru, and Migori Counties
In the month of March, NGAAF CEO and the Police DIG signed an MoU that will see to it that the Police Service and NGAAF Nairobi chapter establish GBV information centres within several police stations in Nairobi.