• According to the Association, there is a lot of backlogs on these cases at the courts as well as at Police Station Gender desks.
• AMWIK Executive Director Juddie Kaberia said she witnessed firsthand the kind of challenge victims face while reporting.
The Association of Media Women in Kenya is calling on the government to hasten the solving of gender-based violence cases in Kenya.
In a joint press briefing with the Coalition on Violence Against Women and other rights groups, they called for speedy action to be taken to give justice to victims.
AMWIK Executive Director Juddie Kaberia said that the slow solving of these cases can lead to extensive consequences for the victims and their families.
“We are seeing rampant cases of violence in households these days. Women and men are trapped in cycles of violence that may eventually cause ripple effects such as the murder and suicides that have been witnessed in the country in previous weeks,” she said.
Kaberia said that children are also becoming victims of such cases and that urgent action needs to be taken to prevent further loss of life and injury.
According to the association, there is a lot of backlogs on these cases at the courts as well as at Police Station Gender desks.
Kaberia said that in her capacity as a journalist helping to report and highlight a case of gender-based violence, she witnessed firsthand the kind of challenge victims face while reporting.
“When we went to the gender desk to report the case, we were asked to pay a fee in order to get service. Often, officers at the stations to ask for money from victims coming to report violence,” she said.
She said that the reverse is also common where perpetrators bribe officers to get their cases dismissed or convince victims to settle out of court.
She asked that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director of Criminal Investigations and the Judiciary ensure these gaps are filled.
Wairimu Munyinyi, Executive Director of COVAW said that Police Gender desks needed to be better equipped to ensure better service provision.
“While these gender desks are a good idea, a building with wood only is not enough. You need to look at whether the officers are well trained. Are they gender-sensitive? When an officer manning the desk is transferred, is their replacement qualified enough?” she posed.
She said that the training may be good but the mentality of officers needs to also be looked into.
AMWIK asked the government to fast track the Generation Equality Commitments made by the President in 2021 that included ending GBV by 2016.
“Among the commitments was making sure that the one-stop centre for reporting violence, Policare, was implemented. We urge the government to ensure it reaches all counties,” said Kaberia.
She also asked that Chief Justice Martha Koome fulfil the promise to establish a special unit to handle gender-based violence cases last year.