Kirinyaga county government putting up rescue facility for victims of gender based violence.

Leaders in Kirinyaga have called for a concerted effort to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the county in the wake of a surge of cases that have in some instances resulted to death.

Speaking on Thursday during the commemoration of the 16 days of activism at the Kamiigua Polytechnic grounds, the leaders said they are alarmed by an increase in number of domestic violence cases.

County Executive Committee (CEC) member for Gender and Youth Millicent Nyawira who represented Governor Anne Waiguru during the event encouraged residents to report GBVcase to enable the wheels of justice to take its course.

She said the county is constructing a Gender Based Violence Rescue Centre at the Kerugoya County Referral Hospital that will be used as a temporally safe house for victims of all forms of violence and abuses.

Nyawira said the facility will be used to house women and children while men will be accommodated in a separate part of the medical facility.

The CECM said Kirinyaga has reported a surge in number of gender related violence cases and therefore the need to double effort by all stakeholders to end the menace

She said the society must join hands to stop further escalation of the vice.

“Let us unite as a society to end GBV, everyone at their level should fight and speak against GBV,” she said.

Nyawira said the constitution protects right and dignity of all genders against various forms of abuse and therefore asked victims to come out and report the cases.

The CECM said gender-based violence take different forms including physical, mental and sexual violence.

She asked victims to come and speak out warning that keeping quiet and enduring abuses would only worsen the situation.

“Governor Anne Waiguru has supported survivors of gender-based violence by establishing a toll-free number for reporting cases, sensitization, providing free medical treatment and training for County officers to address GBV issues. Furthermore, to eliminate difficulties, she has assisted women and the vulnerable to participate in various forms of economic activities through the Wezesha Empowerment Program,” she said.

Nyawira said the county government has put in place several other interventions to end GBV including; setting up of GBV desks at Sub-County level and economic empowerment programmes.

“There will be ongoing sensitization in the community. Our aim is to ensure there are no GBV cases in the county,” the CEC said.

She called for a peaceful coexistence and tolerance especially among married couples saying this the only way to ensure there is no violence at home.

Gichugu Sub-County Assistant County Commissioner, Crispin Otieno, emphasized on the need for individuals to write a will for distribution of heritance so as to prevent family disputeswhen death occurs.

“We are concerned about the land-related cases in our office’sday in and day out. Most widows left behind tend to go through GBV whenever the husband dies without writing a will. To avoid this, let the men ensure they have a last will for the family,” he said.

Nancy Muthoni, the County Gender GBV focal person underscored the significance of seeking medical assistance and highlighted a collaborative effort with the police to expedite cases of abuse. The partnership aims to ensure there is swift handling of cases and minimizing delays in obtaining an OB (Occurrence Book) number.

“When all victims get to our county hospital, regardless of the nature of the incident, patients receive immediate attention at the hospital. They are provided with free medical services, includingevidence collection, administration of medicine, and counseling,” Muthoni said

Susan Kinyua, the Kirinyaga representative of Rainforest Alliance, emphasized the importance of empowering women economically so as to reduce their over-dependance on their spouses.

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