Sexual Violence in Kenyan Schools

Sexual violence in Kenyan schools is still rampant.Yet its not being given the attention and response it deserves.Innocent children continue suffering as we watch  either helplessly or ignorantly.

According to the Sexual Offences Act,2006 ,some of the types of sexual violence include:

  • rape
  • defilement
  • child porn
  • trafficking of persons
  • incest
  • sexual harassment,among others

Sexual violence remains the most dreaded occurrence amongst school going children and their parents.Reason being that sexual violence in  Kenyan schools is an open secret.

Occurrence of sexual violence in Kenyan schools

I’m not sure of how many schools out there have created a safe learning and social environment for the Kenyan child. This is so because every so often,we hear  of cases of sexual violence in Kenyan schools brought to the fore in any of the following ways:

  • media reports
  • parents who suddenly realize  a change in their children’s mannerism
  • reports on  girl drop out rates due to pregnancy
  • suspension of students with ” suspicious” tendencies by the school administration.

All the above should be sufficient for the education stakeholders in Kenya to arise and put in necessary measures to curb sexual violence in Kenyan schools.

No Policy frameworks in place:

In  a workshop i recently attended,i was so disturbed by the casual manner in which the Ministry of Education addresses this issue within Kenyan schools,with focus on the primary schools.

It was indicated that in such cases,no much support is provided to the affected student(s),while the perpetrator in most cases ends up being either transferred to another school or retained within the school.

Most students are also said not to report occurrence of sexual violence in Kenyan schools because of the following reasons:

  • Fear of being forcefully transferred to another school
  • Stigma and discrimination from fellow students
  • Existing indifference  from the school administration when such cases are reported
  • Lack of  provisions in place that would  guarantee the child’s safety from the perpetrator and his/her accomplices
  • In most instances the administration  places more weight on the protection of the perpetrators
  • Failure by the school management to corporate with the  legal authorities, despite sexual violence being a crime against the state
  • Non-existent support mechanisms that the child would rely on for any psycho-social support and treatment

In line with this ,i call upon all the teachers and other key players within the education sector,to arise and address sexual violence in Kenyan schools with the same vigor displayed during the  their recently concluded  strike.

Please get me right,I’m not advocating that they  paralyze learning in schools,but use their energy to make schools a better place for learning.

Sexual violence in Kenyan schools ought and should be completely addressed by all as a matter of urgency

 

 

 

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16 Days of Activism Against GBV in Kenya


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