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Church Women Decry Rising Child Sexual Abuse

Widespread poverty and breakdown of the family are behind the rising child sexual abuse in Kenya.

Other causes are drug abuse, poor parenting, exposure to sexually explicit materials and ludicrous myths about HIV/AIDS, a meeting of the Nairobi-based Ecumenical Women's Forum was told on Tuesday, November 30, 2004.

Lucy Kiama of Nairobi Women's Hospital said so far during 2004, they had received over 1 600 victims of sexual violence. About 45 per cent were minors, some only a few months old.   She said the hospital treats rape and defilement victims free of charge if they reported to the hospital within 72 hours of attack.   Though there are no statistics, there are almost daily reports in the media of child sexual abuse throughout the country.

Jane Kariuki, an official at the Kenya Country Office of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) said the agency was working with the Kenya Government to carry out a national survey on the prevalence of the vice.

To stem the vice, the Government will start training chiefs and police officers on the rights of children. Mr Noah Sanganyi, a senior children's officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs told the group that the exercise was scheduled to start on December 15, 2004, in Western and Eastern Provinces.

The Ecumenical Women's Forum is made up of women programme staff of Christian institutions and Christian women's movements, both national and continental, that are resident in Kenya. On October 13, 2004, the group presented a memorandum to the Government protesting the rising sexual violence against children in the country.

Source: AllAfrica

 
 

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