Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.© 2020 AP Photo/Brian Inganga
Tackling Kenya’s Domestic Violence Amid Covid-19 Crisis
For 4 days, Juliet M., a 16-year-old Kenyan, was held captive by a man and sexually assaulted. She was rescued by neighbors and is now being cared for in a safe house in Nairobi. The attacker reportedly said he kidnapped her because he needed female company to get through the government-imposed COVID-19 lockdown.
The Kenya government has adopted strict measures to counter the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But these measures, as necessary as they are, are having particular impact on women and girls, including elevating the risk of gender-based violence. Last week, the National Council on Administration of Justice reported “a significant spike in sexual offences in many parts of the country in the past two weeks.” They noted that “in some cases, the perpetrators are close relatives, guardians and/or persons living with the victims.” The report pledged that “the courts will consider giving directions on early hearing dates in such cases.”READ MORE