Fathers on the spot over rape in Lamu - Daily Nation

Fathers on the spot over rape cases in Lamu

Sunday May 27 2018

Sexual abuse

Rape cases have been reported in Lamu County. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KALUME KAZUNGU
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Cases of fathers defiling their daughters in Lamu County have elicited concern.

Most of the incidents are reported in Lamu West: Hindi, Bargoni, Kauthara, Ndeu, Sabasaba, Bobo and Roka Kibiboni.

According to a report by World Vision, more than 25 young girls have been defiled and sexually exploited by their fathers between January and May this year.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Speaking to journalists in Hindi on Sunday, World Vision officer in charge of Education and Child Protection Sheikh Maro said the situation has affected the education of girls.

Mr Maro attributed the situation to domestic violence.

"We have witnessed many cases of fathers turning to their own biological daughters and abusing them sexually with a few even impregnating them.

"We are aware that most of the cases are never reported. There is shame and stigma associated with fathers defiling their own daughters and so in most cases even the mothers will cover it up," he said.

And added: "We discovered that these young girls often become victims of sexual abuse when their mothers leave owing to gender based violence, leaving the poor girls at the mercy of such men."

POLICE

Mr Maro has reached out to chiefs and Nyumba Kumi leaders to assist in resolving the issue.

Mr Joseph Gechoya, a police reservist in Hindi, complained that in many cases, fathers who have been arrested over rape have been released.

"I personally arrested a man who was having sexual relations with his own daughter here in Hindi just the other day.

"I took him to Hindi police station but as we speak, the man is back home and has continues defiling the daughter. The police and courts are failing us.

"Most times such cases are thrown out on grounds that there is no sufficient evidence. That is so disappointing," Mr Njenga said.

STIGMA

Mr George Karanja of Mbelebele village said it is also unfortunate that many women in the area fail to file complaints.

"Mothers here prefer keeping quiet even if they are informed of what happened to their daughters by their fathers so that their husbands are not charged as per the law or hide the shame," he said.

Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said his office is alert and that they will ensure all culprits are punished.

Mr Kanyiri also urged parents to protect their children against such incidents.

"Girls must be respected and given time to go to school. I call on parents and locals to be at the forefront in reporting matters to do with child defilement.

"I won’t allow a scenario where parents would like to settle such issues at home. We need to eradicate such acts from the society and we are ready to use all mechanisms to achieve that," he said.