Labour CS Hon Simon Chelugui launching Violence Against Children(VAC) Survey report 2019, VAC National Prevention and Response Plan 2019-2023, child friendly booklet on protecting children against violence, and the violence against children ‘”Spot it Stop it” campaign in Nairobi.
By Collins Orono
A report detailing the Situation of Violence Against Children in Kenya has revealed that at least 15 percent of females and 6 percent of males aged between 18 – 24 years experienced violence before the age of 18.
The violence Against Children Survey Report 2019, conducted by the children’s services department in the ministry of labour revealed that for both males and females, intimate partners (current or previous spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends, or romantic partners) were the most common perpetrators of childhood sexual violence, comprising 44% of first incidents.
The report lunched by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection on July 16th 2020 was presided over by the Labour Cabinet Secretary Hon. Simon Chelugui.
It also indicates that nearly one in six females aged between 18-24 who experienced childhood sexual violence, the perpetrator of the first incident was a classmate or schoolmate. Further among females aged 18-24 who experienced any sexual violence in childhood, more than one third indicated the perpetrator of the first incident was at least five years older.
The report also says that the most common type of sexual violence experienced by females was unwanted touching at about 6.8 percent, unwanted attempted sex at 7.5 percent, pressured sex at 4.3 percent while 4.3 percent experienced physically forced sex.
Childhood physical violence by parents, caregivers, and adult relatives was also found to be common affecting about 30 percent of females and 40 percent of males. Childhood emotional violence by peers was also found to be common, affecting over 30 percent of females and 31 percent of males.
Violence in children go unreported
On reporting of cases of violence to the authorities, the report highlighted that males were less likely to disclose and seek services, especially when they suffer from sexual violence. Very few males sought help for childhood sexual violence and about one in 10 females representing about 13 percent compared to three in 100 males representing 3 percent reported violence cases.
About half of females who sought help did so from doctors, nurses, or other healthcare workers. About 54 percent of girls who did not seek services for sexual violence, the most common reason for not seeking services was that they did not think it was a problem or did not need or want services. 20 percent feared reporting the cases due to fear of getting in trouble, while others feared reporting violence cases due to their dependence on the perpetrator, or fear of being abandoned.
On physical violence, less than one in 10 of both males and females sought services for childhood physical violence at 8 and 9 percent respectively.
Among girls who did not seek services for physical violence, they indicated that the most common reasons for not seeking services were that they did not think it was a problem at 28 percent, those who felt that it was their fault were 27 percent while 24 percent did not need or want services. 40 percent of males felt that the violence was their fault, 35 percent did not think it was a problem while 10 percent felt that they did not want services.
The Violence Against Children Survey report 2019 is the second national survey conducted in Kenya on violence against children and the youth. The survey measures the prevalence, nature, and consequences of physical, emotional and sexual violence against children and youth.
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