The Kakamega government has set up a gender violence desk at the county referral hospital to assist rape and defilement victims.
County chief adviser, special programmes and gender affairs, Penina Mukabane yesterday said the desk helps victims get free treatment and aid in filling in P3 forms required for police action.
The desk has recorded 198 sexual violence-related cases between January and June this year.
“Women and girls who come through the desk receive free treatment. We realised some victims of sexual violence were disadvantaged and frustrated in following up their cases,” Mukabane said.
She said many cases go unreported as relatives decide to handle them outside the court.
Mukabane said the county health services department has launched sexual and reproductive health rights education. Under the programme, women and girls are taught about contraceptives and how to use them.
They are also educated on availability of safe abortion services, should there be need. Abortion is only legal in rare cases. Debate is underway whether abortion should be legalised or not.
Constitutional Article 26 ( 4 ) states that abortion is not permitted unless, in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger.