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Wajir: Hope for gender-based violence survivors as recovery centre launched

Tuesday November 26 2019

Gender based violence recovery centre

The recovery centre for gender-based violence survivors that was launched at the Wajir Referral Hospital on November 25, 2019. PHOTO | BRUHAN MAKONG | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BRUHAN MAKONG
By BRUHAN MAKONG
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Wajir County has launched a recovery centre for gender-based violence (GBV) survivors at the Wajir Referral Hospital.

The facility officially opened its doors on Monday during the commemoration of the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which also marked the launch of 16 days of activism which ends on December 10.

Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi appealed to residents to make use of the facility and report any incidents of GBV in order to realise the dream of violence-free county.

“As a county, we are doing everything we can to ensure that violence against women is fully averted. I, therefore, call upon every individual to support this campaign,” he said.

Mr Abdi added that early this year, the Wajir County Assembly passed the Sexual and Gender Violence Bill 2019, saying the move was a sign of commitment by leaders to fight the vice.

The governor said his government has set aside funds for women empowerment programmes to make them self-reliant.

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“Through these funds, we’ve seen women set up businesses which have improved their living standards. We hope to do even more in future,” he said.

In the last one year, a total of 68 GBV cases were reported in the county, with five of them involving physically-challenged victims. Rape and defilement cases were also reported.

According to statistics from the Wajir Referral Hospital, two rape cases that resulted in pregnancy were reported this year and four rape incidents were presented to the hospital within 72 hours — the same number was recorded last year.

The data further indicates that eight cases of rape and defilement were recorded in 2018 and 2019.

The facility is expected to be a game-changer in the fight against GBV in the region.

The centre has a fully equipped Gender Desk with free hotline numbers to receive complaints from violence victims.

According to the United Nations, a third of all women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, with half of women killed worldwide being murdered by their partners or family.

The UN further says violence perpetrated against women is as common a cause of death and incapacity for those of reproductive age, as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than road accidents and malaria combined.