16 DAYS AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE- UNTOLD SUFFERING
I have worked as a volunteer in Community Social Work at the grassroots mostly in the slums for years. In the these areas Gender Based Violence is the order of the day. Poverty is the main cause of Gender based violence in most cases.
Defilement, Rape, Sodomy cases the most vulnerable are the ones who are affected. This result is according to the cases, I have attended over the years. Defiliment and Sodomy cases most of them are children with disabilities. A nine years old deaf was sodomised, when he tried to report to his mum bysign language the mum could not understand. His elder sister is the one who tried to find out. when the boy tried to rush to the toilet for a long call. Faeces fell out uncontrorably while standing.
That is when they came and i called an Ambulance. He was taken to hospital and was given free medication.
Due to poverty, you find other cases when the head of the family commits such an act with her daughter, you find the poor jobless wife/mother refusing to disclose to the Authority concerned. They later clarify that it is out of fear that if the husband/father is jailed, where will they get their daily basic needs.
Two Months back 18 yrs and six month, old pregnant girl from a single parent was sent to me while she bacame desperate. She narrated to me that she had arrived two days back from very far a days journey from morning to evening. Her single mother had connected her with a man on phone and the man had given out transport money for her to come to get arried to him. When she arrived as she was directed the husband lived in a communal one roomed house.
A good neighbour approached her and she warned her that the man she is claiming to be her husband is already married. The wife has gone to see his parents home. The girl was so shocked, so she called her mother to inform her, The mother refused her to go back to her. she talked secretly to the man and they agreed instead of giving her bus fare to send the money to the mother. She was due in two weeks time, so she requested me to get her bus fare. I didnt have the full fare and I requested a few friends, but they were not in a position. So we boarded a Public Vehicle and I , took her to a Police childrens, protection unit.
The Police in charge agreed to pay her fare back home, she assured me that when she gets home she will go to live in a relatives house. Reason ; the mother was chasing/marrying her off to a stranger because her mother had gottten a manfriend and the daughter was inconviniencing them, the house was one roomed. Thus, how I see evidence hidden in closed doors. Gender Based Violence It is in most rare cases on air in the media we consume.
The above case was not reported in the media and it was very serious. Gender Based Violence really affects my life so much as a Volunteer in Community Social Work. Such cases, the victim especially such a pregnat girl, when I agreed to listen to her narrate her story, she was free to me and she requested me to provide her with something to eat she did not have money. Transport fare I had also to provide to reach to the officer who paid her back home, I have not seen any progress in groups of Women online, they only congratulate you for work well done in my Community.
Today, I recieved a call from a disabled mother I have been assisting with information and she has been benefiting out of them. She met a 13yrs old girl whose mother died and the father got married. The step mother has been so cruel that she had mixed her food with rat poison. she was rushed to hospital and admitted. When she was discharged from hospital she ran away from home and went to be employed as a house girl.
She was not used to house work, so the employer chased her out. The lady who was narrating this story to me on phone, was telling me that she wanted me to look for a Childrens Home for the girl. She was crying when they decided to talk to her and she was telling them instead of going back to the step-mother, she would rather die. I talked to a friend of mine, we share such cases with her. She told me she will find out if she will get one.
Upto now she has not responded. She assits a lot I know she has not found one.
As a concerned Volunteer, you feel stressed. helpless and hopeless. you put yourself in her shoes, oh, how she misses her late mum. You imagine, she wishes it was the other way round. I, feel that if at least there is a Community RESCUE CENTRE at the grassroots to cater for such cases life will be a bit fair for the marginalized/vulnerable.
TERESIA WAMBUI N.K. VOLUNTEER , COMMUNITY SOCIAL WORK WORLD PULSE VOCAL LEADER