Male survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) hardly seek medical attention due to the fear of being perceived as weaklings, ending up no reporting their assaults to the police.
The Director for Hope in Life Organization, Cosmas Mutua, said the changing roles in society that have empowered women economically were among the contributors to violence against men.
He said stigmatization and masculine stereotypes undermine the willingness of men to come out and openly talk about the sufferings they are undergoing from their wives.
In addition, the entrenched gender norms combined with cultural and religious taboos, make it very difficult for men to disclose GBV, and often medical personnel either fail to notice the abuse or simply ignore it.
“When men go to the hospital with burns and scratch a number of medics simply accept the explanation given to them, instead of prodding further and extending psychosocial support to the male patient. That leads to extreme loneliness, depression and sometimes they end up committing suicide,’’ he said.
Mutua appealed to leaders, especially, Members of Parliament and County Assemblies to create more awareness on GBV by condemning it, since whether it affects women or men, society suffers.
He noted with concern that for a long time religious leaders buried their heads in the sand and yet all Holy Books condemn all forms of violence and advocate for the harmonious living among families and communities.
Speaking at a Nakuru hotel during a formulation of intergovernmental and civil society framework committee, Mutua however commended the government for finally appreciating the role they have played in GBV through sensitizing communities against such atrocities.