The report calls for protection of confidentiality for survivors when they access services.
- 31 per cent of those who experienced GBV from intimate partner violence and 27 per cent from non-partner sexual violence said they did not think it was a problem
- Other reasons given for not seeking help despite having experienced GBV include lack of transport, being afraid of being abandoned
Kenya Principal Investigator and lead researcher at PMA Peter Gichangi and the lead data management unit at the International Centre for Reproductive Health Kenya (ICRHK) Mary Thiongo during the release of findings on October 5, 2023-Image: MAGDALINE SAYA
Very few survivors of gender-based violence in Nairobi seek help, a report released on Thursday shows.
The report by Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA), shows that help-seeking for both Intimate Partner Violence and non-partner sexual violence was low.
The report revealed approximately one in three survivors seek help and one in two speak to someone about their experience.
Others who partnered in the report include the International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH), Kenyatta University, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Centre for Global Women’s Health and Gender Equity.
The study was conducted through in-person interviews among 1,357 respondents in Mukuru aged between 15 and 24 years between June and August 2019.
Follow-up data collection was conducted from August to October 2020 with the cohort to track changes in contraceptive dynamics and assess the gendered impact of COVID-19 and another 18-month follow-up from April to May 2021.
According to the findings, embarrassment and fear were the top reasons for not seeking help for both intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence.
Fifty-three per cent of those who experienced GBV from intimate partner violence and did not seek help said they were embarrassed for themselves or their family compared to 24 per cent among those who experienced GBV from someone who is not their partner.
“For intimate partner violence, help-seeking barriers additionally included not thinking the violence was a problem,” the report says.
The report shows that 31 per cent of those who experienced GBV from intimate partner violence and 27 per cent from non-partner sexual violence said they did not think it was a problem.
Other reasons given for not seeking help despite having experienced GBV include lack of transport, being afraid of being abandoned, services being too far, and obstruction by family or community while others said they did not want abusers to get into trouble.
“This study is an eye opener but we have a follow-up study which will be able to look at some of the gaps which exist,” Kenya Principal Investigator and lead researcher at PMA Peter Gichangi said.
“In the next phase of our study we will be looking at the police stations, how many have gender desks, and what is the location of the gender desk because if it is in a public space then it means you are seen going there,” Gichangi said.
The report calls for increased knowledge of and access to GBV response services by placing the services in easy-to-access and comfortable locations for GBV survivors.
It also calls for the protection of confidentiality for survivors when they access services, including ensuring privacy and discretion at help desks, making police reports, and accessing medical and counselling services.