GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

Address root cause of GBV, sexual harassment among cops

In Summary
  • The Interior ministry should implement realistic and practical measures that will lead to a reduction in GBV and sexual harassment cases
  • Measures that touch on the core factors that lead to violence
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i addresses the public at Kirwara police station in Gatanga on Thursday, March 11.
MATIANG'I: Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i addresses the public at Kirwara police station in Gatanga on Thursday, March 11.
Image: ALICE WAITHERA

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i’s remarks on banning intimate relationships in the police service is not the solution to sexual harassment.

Even if the officers marry people in other professions, where is the proof that there will not erupt sexual violence or harassment between the couples? If implemented, will the ban prevent a police officer from killing or hurting his or her spouse who is, let’s say a chef?

The reasons for GBV among the police are the same for everyone else outside that profession: Financial constraints, misunderstandings resulting from miscommunication between the spouses, etc.

In defending the planned policy, Matiang’i said they would be adopting a similar policy in the Kenya Defence Forces where soldiers are barred from getting into intimate relationships with colleagues.

But the aim and purpose which necessitated the policy to be implemented in the KDF is different because with the soldiers, there are issues of executing tough orders which should it involve a couple, will be difficult for them to perform.

The Interior ministry should implement realistic and practical measures that will lead to a reduction in GBV and sexual harassment cases. Measures that touch on the core factors that lead to violence.

Some of these measures include adequate facilitation of sexual and reproductive health services, provision of quality counselling and legal assistance and creating prevention and response services such as multiple 24hr toll-free telephone lines that work countrywide