By Shadrack Andenga Odinga
A mobile app, known as ‘SV Case Study’ was launched on Saturday morning at Ruben Center, Mukuru slums in Nairobi County as residents cried foul with Nyumba Kumi elders accused of helping sexual offenders.
The project engineered by ‘Wangu Kanja Foundation’, a gender based violence program within Ruben Center is meant to document cases of sexual violence across Kenya for a better understating of the context, trends, prevalence and characteristics of perpetrators.
“This is an amazing program that will see GBV cases documented. Here in Mukuru slums, the Coronavirus pandemic has created havoc in our society. Husbands and wives are constantly fighting; children are abused physically, sexually or socially, but we are here this morning to spread a message of hope to not only residents of Mukuru slum but also Kenyans at large. Do not suffer in silence,” said Mr. Joshua Asigo, the case manager at Wangu Kanja Foundation.
The two hour open talk seminar was also meant to restore dignity to survivors of sexual violence and their families, but the main talk took a twist when different women accused Nyumba Kumi elders of helping to hide sexual offenders
“There are so many cases of rape or even our young girls’ impregnated by older married men. We try our best to report these cases, but Nyumba Kumi elders go to the police and bribe the offenders out. They normally want to settle the cases out of courts, but in reality sexual offenders still go free and continue with their habits,” cried Amina Ali who also added that the police should now take action and the government do away with Nyumba Kumi.
At Ruben Center’s maternity ward, it has been recorded that since the coronavirus pandemic started, out of the three thousand babies that have been delivered, 11% belong to underage mothers according to Mrs. Zipporah Mwangi who is a doctor at the facility.
Children’s officer from Embakasi constituency offices Miss Adesa was quick to add that poor relationships existing between married couples affect their children.
During this Coronavirus pandemic, a Mukuru slum has registered over 400 girls between the ages of 13 and 17 who are pregnant.
With case studies increasing day in day out, Madam Stella Kaviti from Mukuru Community Justice Center added that according to law, such cases are classified also under Gender Based Violence and should be investigated and perpetrators arrested and charged in a court of law.
According to the Legal Resources Foundation when parents quarrel it streams down to their children who will be affected.
In Mukuru slums, cased of rape have also been rampant with ‘Nyumba Kumi’ elders and chairmen being put on the spot for defending and helping to hide perpetrators as the victims languish in shame.
The one day seminar saw at least 70 men and women congregate at Ruben Center’s main hall for the discussion.
As the world continues to fight the Coronavirus pandemic, socio-economic challenges in informal settlements like Mukuru slums have resulted in more cases of GBV.
But now there is hope through Wangu Kanja Foundation and the SV case study app.