Over 700 cases of gender-based violence (GBV) cases have been reported in Mombasa County since March this year.
According to Mombasa County Director of Gender in the Department of Youth, Gender, Sports and Cultural affairs Esther Ingolo the cases range from domestic violence, rape, incest to sodomy.
She singled out Likoni and Junda in Kisauni sub-counties as the worst-hit areas.
Ingolo, however, cites domestic violence as being the most rampant form of GBV in the entire county.
“We have over 700 cases of GBV in various parts of Mombasa County. Most of the cases are however domestic violence based,” she noted.
The director spoke to Jumuiya News in Mombasa.
Ingolo says the war on GBV shall only be won if all stakeholders embrace a multisectoral approach.
She further asked Mombasa county locals to acquaint themselves with GBV policies available at the county level.
“Some of the cases go unreported. And mostly they are solved at the village level. This complicates the whole issue,” said the youth director.
At the same time, FIDA Kenya lawyer Evelyn Atieno said the organization is working closely with pro bono advocates to address the issue of GBV in various counties in the Coast region.
“GBV has been a concern in the coast region and that is why we are fighting for the rights of women,” said the lawyer.
Meanwhile, Beverly Mumbo from FIDA Kenya noted that GBV cases involve close relatives who end up defiling minors.
She added that most of the GBV cases go unreported.
“We aim to create awareness of victims of GBV. Most of the victims do not want to come out and report the cases,” said Mumbo.
She cited early pregnancies and female genital mutilation as some of the cultural practices that still exist in some of the Coast Counties.
Muslims for Human Rights gender activist Topista Juma said there is a need for a collaborative approach in addressing the issue.
She adds that sensitization is key when it comes to gender-based violence matters.
“Let us all work together so that we can kick this vice. Again we need to create awareness on the same,” said the activist.