The lack of a rescue centre for victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Elgeyo Marakwet County has become a major setback in the fight against vice in the county.
Members of the County Gender Sector Working Group said most of the SGBV victims do not report or record statements with the police which is key in court proceedings as they have to go back to their homes or communities where the perpetrators are.
The Keiyo North deputy county commissioner Julius Maiyo who chaired the meeting said most cases go unreported while others are thrown out of court for lack of evidence after victims fail to show up.
Maiyo said court cases are determined by provision of evidence and therefore where victims fail to give evidence or withdraw due to fear of intimidation from the perpetrators or their accomplices then the courts have no alternative but to throw out the case.
The DCC said his office receives many such cases especially those involving incest where a father or relative is involved saying such victims are at a loss whether to press charges given that they have to go back to the same home.
Members regretted that most perpetrators go scot-free and go on committing heinous crimes especially given that victims are vulnerable.
The members said that the government had committed to establishing SGBV recovery centres in all 47 counties but unfortunately, no resources have been allocated for the same.
They expressed concern that most of the victims especially children are taken all the way to Uasin Gishu thus increasing pressure on the centres in that county as they also have to deal with their own cases.
The meeting was told that some children who ran away from Female Genital Mutilation and early marriages are forced to stay in schools once they close since they may be forced to undergo the practices they ran away from if they go back home.
Members also decried the lack of a facility at the Iten police station specifically for children and other victims of SGBV.
The Keiyo North Sub County Police Commander Tom Makori said the police can avail a place where such a facility can be built adding that they have officers adequately trained for the same.
The meeting called on the police to come up with Bills of Quantities for the construction of the same which can be used to approach donors and other sponsors.