COVID has demanded so much from us in different ways. Our live hoods have been tremendously challenged, others in more ways than others. One of the things we have noted as an organization, is the rise of sexual abuse reports under Corona virus lock-down
in different parts of the world.
This shadow pandemic in Kenya as UN calls it, has recorded a third of all crimes sexual violence related. Of the $267 million flash cash appeal launched by the United Nations and the Government of Kenya, $4.2 million is to provide lifesaving medical treatment, Psycho-social support and legal representation in relation to violence against children and GBV. This pandemic magnifies the gaps that were there before and now the strain is more on resources and access to services.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), reported by the end of March there was 22% increase in monthly calls from people younger than 18, and a half of all incoming contacts were from minors which is a first in RAINN’s history. Of the minors who contacted the hotline 67% identified their perpetrator as a family member and 79% said they were currently living with the perpetrator.
The abuse is escalating in frequency and severity which is very sad.
It is unfortunate to note that home is not the safest place for every minor. To think that some teachers, coaches, child care providers, clubs have been a safe haven for some of our children is quite sad. The one place they are supposed to call home and run to when the world is beating them down, has broken down the walls of trust and violated their innocence
Things that have fueled violence to children include:
a.) stress from parents not knowing where the next meal will come from especially those working in informal sectors.
b.) Uncertainty of not knowing when things will get back to normal, have different people reacting differently.
c.) Financial hardships also make many parents to be in a foul mood and the child bearing it all.
Sadly children have become punching bags and worse yet a tool for releasing the adults stress and thus transactional sex.
In Kara we are often having mental checks with our little warriors in our safe house and carefully extending zoom cancelling sessions with parents educating them on signs to watch out for to know your child is being abused in one way or another. We are also directing many victims of sexual abuse in a swift manner working closely with a network of children protection that comprises of different people from every important unit that fights for children’s welfare. This helps with speed that is much needed in such cases especially for collection of evidence and getting the child to a safe environment as soon as possible while the legal unit takes up the case.
We are determined to ensure the color TEAL becomes a color that springs one to action. Either by protecting, reporting or supporting a rape case or signs of it.
Keep safe and and see you next week for another Warrior Wednesday