Break the silence! Stop Gender-based violence!

By Daisy E. Oloo

Rooted in unequal power relations between men and women, Violence against Women (VAW), or Gender-Based-Violence (GBV) as it is often referred to, is a social vice that thrives behind closed doors. Often being labeled a private matter rather than a public agenda. Rather than shining the light on the vice and uprooting the vice, it is the inaudible whispers and side glances given to the victims/survivors that forces them to retreat into strongholds. 

There is global evidence of Sexual Violence (SV) exerted on both sexes across various demographics. However, women and girls remain most at risk. UNICEF (2000) estimates that between 20 and 50% of women in the world have experienced at least one form of male violence (rape, battering, sexual or emotional abuse) in their lifetime. In a 2010 survey conducted by the United Nations Children’s Funds Kenya Office, 32% of females and 18% of males experience  (SV) before the age of 18. In Sub-Saharan Africa, poverty, and adherence to societal and cultural “norms” remains a major player in the fight against GBV. Despite numerous national and international calls for the end of vice, Kenya continues to register high numbers of reported cases.

Since the announcement of the first confirmed COVID-19 case, the government has been keen to protect its citizens from mass infections. Though necessary, the governments’ directives on social-distancing, quarantine, self-isolation and curfews have forced women and girls to seek refuge in shelters that accommodate perpetrators of GBV.  Whether ongoing or imminent, Gender-Based-Violence thrives behind closed doors. It is therefore not 

FIDA-Kenya’s intervention. 

As the premier women’s rights organization, FIDA-Kenya remains strategically placed to intervene where GBV is concerned. 

With a great understanding of the limitations presented in the era of social distancing, innovation and technology have been adopted to ensure the safety of women and girls in Kenya. 

Members of the public are now able to access counselors, and lawyers free of charge on our toll-free number 0800-720-501. Not only is the line free of charge, the legal advice, and psychosocial support is professional and confidential as well. 

If you are being abused, or you are in a potentially life-threatening situation as a result of GBV or even know someone who is being abused/at risk, call the toll free number for immediate assistance.

The silence on GBV must be broken. 


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