Civil Society Organisations in Nakuru have pledged to front awareness campaigns to change the mindset of the residents as part of efforts to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV) within the region.
The move comes a few days after a 26-year-old Nakuru woman who was doused with petrol and set on fire by the husband at Keratina Estate in Nakuru succumbed to her injuries after 25 per cent burns.
Speaking during a stakeholders meeting, the CSOs from different parts of the county vowed to front proposals and partner with the local government to ensure the menace comes to an end.
John Kamande noted that Nakuru records over 40 cases of Gender-Based Violence every month that is reported adding that the number could be higher since most opt to keep quiet.
According to him, the government needs to come up with mechanisms through the use of CSOs to create more awareness on behavioural change which he cites as the major contributor to GBV.
He pointed out that there has been a huge gap in policies especially for GBV victims adding that hospitals should be able to waive some charges on treatment documents.
Kamande observed that documents such as P3s should not be charged so as to allow victims to get justice as they visit hospitals.
On his part, Martin Lunalo said the rising cases of Gender-Based Violence in the county was headed to grim statistics adding that policies need to be put in place to curb the same.
He said the county needs to do more in hospitals to ensure all patients are given attention especially victims of sexual or gender-based violence.
Lunalo observed that physical injuries are some of the more visible, and at times most deadly, consequences of GBV adding that the long-term mental health consequences are often invisible and left untreated.
According to Lunalo, the yet to be approved maternal, newborn health bill should be passed by the assembly as one of the ways to safeguard the interest of women and children at health centres.
Gender-based violence is one of the most persistent violations of human rights across the globe. According to the World Health Organization, about one-third of women worldwide have experienced violence.
Intimate partner violence increases the risk of HIV, in some regions by up to 1.5 times. Among marginalized populations, a high prevalence of violence is linked with higher rates of HIV infection, in particular among transgender women.
In Kenya, a recent study found that 32% of young women aged 18–24 years and 18% of their male counterparts reported experiencing sexual violence before the age of 18.