Drug abuse and alcoholism have been named as the main contributor to cases of Gender-Based Violence against men in Uasin Gishu County.
According to the Director, State Department of Gender in Uasin Gishu County, Linda Madegwa, a majority of men who experience gender-based violence is as a result of frustrations from women, many of who are usually forced to take care of their families – while the husbands are busy drinking alcohol and abusing drugs.
“Most of the men affected are involved in too much drinking of alcohol and drug abuse that makes them unable to provide for their families. This forces the woman to take up the role and once she is tired, she resorts to violence against their men,” Madegwa said, in an interview with Uasin Gishu News.
The gender officer also blames religious leaders for the increased cases of gender-based violence in society, pointing out that places of worship have today put more emphasis on getting money from their members and preaching about prosperity, at the expense of family virtues.
“Religious leaders used to teach their members on the need to have a loving and caring family set up but that is no longer happenings at our places of worship,” noted Madegwa.
A majority of the violence against men is usually witnessed in slum and informal settlements, due to the high population concentration that makes it easier to be identified.
However, men are still reluctant to report violations against them, especially if perpetrators are their wives, due to cultural upbringing where they are seen as the stronger in society.
“According to African culture, men are seen as leaders, strong and those in charge of families, they are not even allowed to cry or lament, and it looks shameful to report such a case. This is why men end up killing their wives or committing suicide,” said the gender officer.
But with the reality that men are increasingly becoming victims of gender-based violence, the State Department of Gender has rolled out a number of programs that seek to sensitize members of the public to enable them to identify and report such violations.
Aside from public sensitization, the government has also set up a toll-free number 1195 where victims of gender-based violence can call and get helped by tele-counselors.
All county hospitals also have set up a desk to handle gender-based violence cases, fully-fledged with counselors.