The overall objective of the study is: To strengthen linkages between national policy framework and local interventions to help prevent and mitigate violence affecting women during political transitions. More specifically the study sought to: strengthen capacity of local women institutions, security and law enforcement agents to systematically document, monitor and act to prevent and mitigate effects of SGBV; analyse the extent that constitution and laws related to SGBV are being taken up and the resulting impact and analyse the evolving role of Informal Youth Formations (IYFs) in SGBV.
The research methodology was largely participatory, involving partnership with local women organizations and stakeholders (Police, chiefs, religious leaders, guidance and counselling teachers, children officers, village elders.in Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru and Nairobi counties as data collectors from February 2013-March 2014. The four sites were purposively selected because they were deemed to be hotspots in the 2007/08 PEV and further the local women organizations were already involved in issues of SGBV. Data was collected from walk in survivors reporting incidences of violence as well as from 6 months study with intimate partners who had reported repeated violence in their relationships, key informants and informal youth formations. Qualitative analysis was done using Ms Word and quantitative data was analysed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS).
Summary of Key Findings
- There was minimal increase in violence during the 2013 political transition.
- Nairobi reported most violence with majority of the cases (1555) from Nairobi Women’s Gender Recovery Centre.
- SGBV incidence is affected by age (Peaks between 11-17, 24-29 years) and reduces after 36 years. It however, increases for men after 30 years.
- SGBV is common in come-we-stay marriages (50.8%).
- Most violence (44.19%) reported by casual workers.
- There seems to be an inverse relationship between violence and income (less income more violence)
- Most survivors (64%) are not household heads.
- Violence increases with more children in a household 50% (4-6 children)
- Most of the violence (46.2%) took place in the survivor’s home. Equally, most intimate partners were violated in shared residences.
- SGBV is frequent (73.41%).
- Most survivors (29.7%) reported soon after violence.
- Most survivors (79.9%) were brought up in violent families.
- Perpetrators (92.04%) of violence are mostly known to the survivors.
- Most perpetrators (40.98%) know SGBV is illegal but still engage in it.
- Main cause of violence is unequal power relations with men violating women with impunity (33.65%).
- Sexual violence was the most highly reported SGBV (49.26%). Disaggregation of sexual violence by age showed that most of the cases were children’ with more boys being affected between 0-11 years and more girls between 12-17 years (30.56%).
It was further revealed that most survivors in intimate partner relationships do not report SGBV to law enforcement state actors. Generally, factors that influence reporting of violence are accessibility/proximity of the reporting facility, the form of violence perpetrated and perception of how trustworthy a facility is. It was noted that psychological and financial forms of violence for intimate partners involved in a longitudinal study reduced during the research period.
The study showed that informal youth formations (IYFs) are evolving in tandem with socio-political changes and have dual identities as registered self- help groups with socially acceptable objectives but also as criminal gangs for hire. They did not show partiality or consistent commitment to any particular ideology or even politician. A new development is for IYFs to purposively recruit female youth to be part of the established hitherto male membership partly as a response to “market” demand to deal with SGBV cases involving women.
The key recommendation is that: Government takes the lead at utilizing existing evidence to understand the root causes of persistence of SGBV in Kenya as well as fill gaps in such evidence and use it to strengthen coordination, prevention and response mechanisms. More specifically: State and non- state stakeholders work collaboratively to streamline “GBV management system” at all levels through provision of resources, appropriate capacity building of actors to effect integrated teamwork across sectors; police be equipped with skills and better facilities (such as forensic laboratories) to be able to pursue justice; target men and in particular perpetrators of violence in SGBV prevention and mitigation programs and develop a national integrated data management system that accesses data from all SGBV stakeholders and actors.
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