Domestic violence in Kenya

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Domestic violence in Kenya is a problem as in many parts of Africa.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

There is a deep cultural belief in Kenya that it is socially acceptable to hit a woman to discipline a spouse.[8][9][10]

Over 40% of married women in Kenya have reported being victims of either domestic or sexual abuse. The distinct factors and causes of this high percentage have often not been studied due to lack of data. Factors such as low levels of education, religion, and socioeconomic status all are relevant when looking at the causes of domestic violence in Kenya. [11] Pregnant women are also more likely to be victims of domestic abuse because they are more likely to be in a relationship. Pregnant women are often also economically or socially vulnerable, putting them at a higher risk for domestic violence due to the patriarchal dominance. Unwanted pregnancies are often seen as the fault of the woman, leading to more abuse. Negative outcomes of domestic violence include pregnancy loss and complications, hypertension, physical injuries, and stress. [12] In addition, victims of domestic violence are more likely to contract HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. [13]

Women with low levels of education are often of low socioeconomic status and must depend on a male partner, often leading to abuse. Poor women also depend on men for household maintenance. These women remain silent in the face of abuse. [14] Women transgressing gender norms often also leads to abuse. If a woman does not act with respect and obedience, or does not complete her chores, she is "disciplined" by her partner. In addition, men are also threatened by women making independent decisions. If a couple has agreed upon a decision and the woman goes against it, it is cause for violence. If a woman questions the financial choices of a man, or makes him feel as if he is not providing for the family well, violence is often used by the man in his anger. [15]

Responses to domestic violence in Kenya include legal actions and social organizations. The Kenyan constitution clearly states that men women and children have the right to "life, liberty, and security of the person and his/her protection from the law." While the constitution provides both men and women protection from "inhuman treatment or torture," it does not explicitly provide protection from violence against women and girls. The Kenyan Penal Code also has provisions that are used to protect against domestic violence. Under a section called "Sexual Offenses," three kinds of "rape" are prohibited against. However, the language used in this provision has lent itself to many loopholes. Under another section labeled "Defilement," it is written that extreme punishment will be used for men who rape women under the age of 14 or a girl that "was an idiot or imbecile." For married women, protection from rape is almost nonexistent, especially if the marriage is considered valid under the law. due to the fact that Kenya does not have a minimum age for marriage, the issue of age for consent of sexual relationship is often unclear. [16] Organizations that are looking to improve the rape prevalence in Kenya include programs to increase gender based violence recovery programs. Output-based aid voucher programs are increasing with the goal of providing vouchers to victims for a specific health purpose. These vouchers can be used for medical examinations, counseling services, and links to support groups which often provide legal assistance and referrals to shelters.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Entrenched Epidemic: Wife-Beatings in Africa". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  2. ^ "Why women put up with domestic violence". Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Stop domestic violence in kenya". Standardmedia.co.ke. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "Kenya's women-only villages offer protection from domestic violence and rape". 19 January 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  5. ^ h"Kenya Gazette Supplement" (PDF). Kenyalaw.org. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  6. ^ "Feature: Kenya yet to erase stain of domestic violence despite progress - Xinhua - English.news.cn". Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "Cultural practices a hindrance to the fight against domestic violence - Kenya News Agency". Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "Why fewer men are beating their wives". Standard. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  9. ^ "1.5m men are victims of domestic violence:report". Daily Nation. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  10. ^ "Girls Win Landmark Decision Against Police In Kenya Rape Case". CBC. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  11. ^ 1. Kimuna, Sitawa R., and Yanyi K. Djamba. "Gender Based Violence: Correlates of Physical and Sexual Wife Abuse in Kenya." Journal of Family Violence 23, no. 5 (July 2008). Accessed September 19, 2017.
  12. ^ Shamu, Simukai, Naeemah Abrahams, Marleen Temmerman, Alfred Musekiwa, and Christina Zarowsky. "A Systematic Review of African Studies on Intimate Partner Violence against Pregnant Women: Prevalence and Risk Factors." PLOS, March 8, 2011. Accessed September 19, 2017.
  13. ^ Njuki, Rebecca, Jerry Okal, Charlotte E. Warren, Francis Obare, Timothy Abuya, Lucy Kanya, Chi-Chi Undie, Ben Bellows, and Ian Askew. "Exploring the effectiveness of the output-based aid voucher program to increase uptake of gender-based violence recovery services in Kenya: A qualitative evaluation." BioMed Central, June 12, 2012. Accessed September 19, 2017.
  14. ^ Hatcher, Abigail M., Patrizia Romito, Merab Odero, Elizabeth A. Bukusi, Maricianah Onono, and Janet M. Turan. "Social context and drivers of intimate partner violence in rural Kenya: implications for the health of pregnant women." Culture, Health & Sexuality 15, no. 4 (February 6, 2013). Accessed September 19, 2017.
  15. ^ Hatcher, Abigail M., Patrizia Romito, Merab Odero, Elizabeth A. Bukusi, Maricianah Onono, and Janet M. Turan. "Social context and drivers of intimate partner violence in rural Kenya: implications for the health of pregnant women." Culture, Health & Sexuality 15, no. 4 (February 6, 2013). Accessed September 19, 2017.
  16. ^ Kameri-Mbote, Patricia. "Violence Against Women in Kenya ." An Analysis of Law, Policy, and Institutions. Accessed October 1, 2017.
  17. ^ Njuki, Rebecca, Jerry Okal, Charlotte E. Warren, Francis Obare, Timothy Abuya, Lucy Kanya, Chi-Chi Undie, Ben Bellows, and Ian Askew. "Exploring the effectiveness of the output-based aid voucher program to increase uptake of gender-based violence recovery services in Kenya: A qualitative evaluation." BioMed Central, June 12, 2012. Accessed September 19, 2017.