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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Report: Youths main perpetrators of Gender-based violence

By The Frontier Post Reporter

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A report has revealed Kenya male adults are the main perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV).

The report by the National Crime Research Centre indicates that  offenders are mainly aged 18 and 33 years who form the cluster of youth are in a family or intimate partner relationship context.

The report on the State of Crime across the country further indicates that 71 per cent of the 2,416 cases of GBV (that is, 1,716 cases) reported between January and June 2020 were female victims.

This indicates that at least 10 females are victims of gender-based violence on a daily basis.

The report said these victims are majorly girls, women and children.

Alcohol, drug and substance abuse, poverty, family/ domestic disputes and retrogressive cultural (including religious) beliefs and practices and male dominance (including undermining masculinity) remain the main factors contributing to these forms of violence.

The forms of GBV during the period under reveiew were defilement, attempted rape, rape, subjecting children to torture, attempted defilement, gang rape, gang defilement, threatening to kill, attempted murder, arson and sexual communication with a child.

Other forms included sexual abuse, physical abuse, child abduction/kidnapping, emotional abuse, child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child prostitution, child radicalization and online abuse.

The report further suggests that there is a likelihood of an increase in family-based crimes, offences and violations partly due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report said there is a sustained prevalence and escalating trend of physical violence within the family set up orchestrated majorly by the male figure.

“There is a confirmed escalating trend of violations of children’s rights including girl child disempowerment,” read part of the report.

This the report said has increased a likelihood of teenage pregnancy, school drop-out and juvenile delinquency.

“There is a link between dysfunctional socio-cultural value system within the family and the increasing cases of gender-based violence, violations of children’s rights and girl child disempowerment,” the report said.

According to the report, there is observable variations/inconsistency in data categorization, capture and reporting among different agencies addressing issues of GBV and violations of children’s rights in Kenya.

“This causes disparity in reported (known to police) and unreported cases largely captured by other state departments, hence negating the spirit of integration and multi-agency/sector approach in addressing public safety and security in Kenya,” it said.

The report in its conclusion notes that there is a likelihood of post-COVID-19 period confounding the forms of family-based crimes and violations in the country because of the uncertainties and unpredictability of the pandemic.

Other factors include poor parenting/upbringing and moral decadence, identity crisis among the youthful population and inadequate support system.

According to the report, a review done established that the number of GBV cases recorded between January and June 2020 had an increase of 92.2 per cent compared with those of between January and December 2019.

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