•Nyamira is one of the counties with highest rate of gender-based violence in families
• Kenya has many laws and policies but violence escalates
Nyamira county has been rated among the counties with the highest rate of gender-based violence in families.
According to the national dialogue reference group, 14 percent of cases that occur in Nyamira are gender-based, leading to family breakups.
Other counties include Meru, Marsabit, Kilifi, Elgeyo Marakwet and Nyandarua.
The group established that the cases have now risen beyond limits and says only the church can educate the people about the essence of reconciliation.
Reverend Eliud Nyakundi of the Nyamira Interdenominational Caucus told journalists on Thursday that the church and the government have a critical role to play in ensuring GBV does not occur.
“We need to inform our people that gender-based violence is rampant and we must stop it before it gets worse. We need to ensure families get proper guidance," Nyakundi said.
In Kenya gender-based violence has been on the rise with 357 cases reported from January 2018. That is believed to be dramatically lower than the true figures because many women and girls are ashamed to report.
The upsurge in GBV is affecting the country as a whole as it results in the killing of women and girls, which has dominated the news.
“What is worrying is that Kenya has attempted to address the spike in violence against women by enacting laws and policies, such as the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act, the Sexual Offences Act, the Marriage Act and the Matrimonial Property Act,” Urgent Action Fund Africa said.
The research further established that many women fear reporting to police. It has also been established that many women have been verbally abused by police and sent back without support.
Until today, a great number of judicial and police officers have not been trained and informed on the Sexual Offences Act and new laws such as the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act.