SOURCE: Capital FM

Civil bodies led by Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK), in partnership with Urgent Action Fund – Africa, Coalition On Violence Against Women pointed out that most GBV centers have relegated their duties in giving support and justice to victims.

AMWIK Executive Director Judie Kaberia stated that qualified personnel should be situated in Gender desks to ensure social support service and justice for GBV victims.

“We know that the government has put in place desk for Gender Based Violence but its more than that. We need to look into the issue of counselling for victims. We know some Gender desks have complained of underfunding and being overwhelmed. We are asking for concerted effort to ensure those at the Gender desk have gone through professional counselling,” said Kaberia.

For victims, the quest for justice has been a strenuous one given that the handling of GBV victims at the point of reporting has been fragmented with no professional counselling offered to help those seeking justice.

In some instances, GBV victims have been forced to engage in bribery so as get justice a situation that has led the public lose trust in the justice system.

“Victims of GBV fail to report cases due to fear of the police, bribes, and further victimization. We urge for the professionalization of these centers especially the gender desks and advise them to roll outreach activities and campaigns intended to win the public’s trust and reassurance to promote reporting of GBV crimes,” Kaberia noted.

Coalition on Violence Against Women Executive Director Wairimu Munyinyi noted that it was opportune time to eradicate the culture of corruption in the justice system.

“Its important for us to relook on how we administer education in schools and also ensure that each and every police officer is trained on handling GBV cases. This is so that even in the case of transfer, there is no gap,” said Munyinyi.

Women in Newsroom Foundation Leader Njeri Rugene insisted that more needs to be done to ensure comprehensive approach of the GBV cases.

She pointed out that Polycentres intended to provide comprehensive support services including legal, psychosocial support, police and health to survivors of GBV at no cost are not enough.

“This Polycare centres we need to have them all over. In Nairobi alone we only have two, we should have more centers, in all police stations across the country,” said Rugene.



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