A new report has revealed the rise in sexual violence against minors in the country.
The report on violence against children published by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection shows that two out of five girls experience different types of violence.
According to the report, women (16 percent) are twice as likely to experience childhood sexual violence as men (6 percent).
It also shows that eight out of ten first incidents of sexual violence against women occurred in the afternoon or evening.
Sexual violence was experienced by 15.6 percent of women and 6.4 percent of men before the age of 18.
Among the women, 6.8 percent experienced unwanted sexual contact, 7.5 percent unwanted sex attempts, 4.3 percent sex under pressure and 4.3 percent forced sex in their childhood.
The most common location of the first incident of childhood sexual violence for women was an outdoor location at 53.7 percent.
Of the women who experienced sexual violence in childhood, 18.4 percent experienced the first incident at the age of 13 or younger, 26.6 percent between the ages of 14 and 15, and 54.9 percent between the ages of 16 and 17.
Every sixth woman experienced sexual violence in her childhood. The report adds that among 18- to 24-year-old women, nine out of ten victims of sexual violence did not seek help.
The report finds that children exposed to violence are more likely to normalize it and become perpetrators or victims in adulthood.
The results of the report have led the government and non-state actors to launch the Spot it, Stop it campaign to raise awareness of violence against children.
The action, supported by Safaricom, Unicef ââand the Directorate of Children Services, was recently launched at the Kibera Primary School in Nairobi.
It aims to raise awareness of how children can be safe online and offline. It is also aimed at identifying and addressing the causes of violence against children.
Through the campaign, children learn to recognize and report online abuse. Child-friendly brochures on violence against children are also distributed.
Cases of violence against children are reported to the authorities via the toll-free numbers 116, 999 and 112 or the child protection offices.
The campaign targets all 47 counties, with initial launches in high risk countries such as Nairobi, Garissa, Kilifi, Turkana and Mombasa.
Once implemented, the prevalence of violence against children is expected to decrease by 40 percent.
Isadia Hoyd, director of children’s services, said 10 percent of children in Nairobi county experience violence in their homes, schools, churches and communities.
He revealed that approximately 200 cases of child abuse are reported daily through the Child Protection Management System.
âWe have cases of sexual violence against children in the family constellation. Cases of kidnappings and kidnappings are also increasing very quickly, âhe said.
Laws and guidelines
Public Service Minister and the Gender Cabinet Prof. Margaret Kobia said the ministry had developed the National Prevention and Response Plan (NPRP) 2019-2023 to address the increasing cases of violence against children.
The government, she added, plans to implement laws and policies to protect children, improve parenting skills and economically strengthen households.
The plan aims to change behaviors that normalize violence in communities, create a safe environment in the education sector, and improve response services.
“The Directorate for Children’s Services has taken robust measures to strengthen a child protection system, focusing on legal and policy reform, institutional capacity development, planning, budgeting, monitoring and information management,” said Prof. Kobia.
Karen Basiye, Safaricom’s Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact, highlighted online platforms that she said pose a significant threat to children’s well-being if their access is not regulated.
Yoko Kobayashi, director of child protection at Unicef ââKenya, noted that violating a child’s right to grow up in a safe environment also affects society as a whole, as many young people fail to reach their potential and contribute to the economy.
“If violence against children is not stopped, the intergenerational cycle of violence will also affect the next generation,” she said.