Faults of omission and commission reveals extent of SGBV in Busia County
The National Gender and Equality Commission has spelt a raft of wide ranging measures including an intensive sensitization campaign to the community, children, parents, and all stakeholders dealing with children welfare on sexual and gender based violence in Busia County.
The measures are contained in an audit report released by the Commission on the State’s response to SGBV cases and survivors in Busia county dubbed ‘faults of omission and commission’. The report details harrowing cases of sexual abuse against children perpetrated by adults known to them.
The report cites retrogressive cultural practices as largely contributing to violations against the children, the existence of a huge gap in terms of education given to the children, the caregivers and all stakeholders involved in the welfare of the children and entrenched discrimination against the girl children.
The report describes in upsetting detail how children are sexually abused during night time celebrations in a ceremony dubbed ‘disco matanga’; usually an event to raise funds in aid of a bereaved family but has been corrupted and used as a haven for sexual orgies.
Parents, guardians and some elements of the law enforcement agencies have also been cited as abetting cases of sexual abuse against children. The Commission also established that faults of omission and commission contributed to the poor handling of a gang rape incident involving an underage girl called ‘Liz’.(not her real name) Her plight generated international outcry despite the fact that her case was reported 2 months after the ordeal when she had already developed obstetric fistula compounded by Spinal injuries.
The report recommends that Director of Public Prosecutions conducts proper investigations into Liz’s case and prefers appropriate charges to the culprits. The report also recommends that the Inspector General of police institutes disciplinary action against the Administration Officers of who mishandled the Liz case and the Judiciary to invoke stiff penalties to sexual offenders to serve as deterrence
According to statistics provided by a local NGO working to end SGBV in Busia over 8,000 reported cases since 2002 include defilement, attempted defilement, oral sex, gang rape, child prostitution, child marriage and incest.