Launch Of A Gender Based Violence RecoveryCenter(GBVRC) And A Toll Free Number To Help End GBV In Kwale County

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The onset of COVID-19 and the subsequent containment and preventive measures put in place by the Ministry of Health brought with thema number of challenges that disproportionately affected women, youth and Persons Living with Disability (PLWDs). The closure of schools exposed children to all forms of violence, including violent discipline by family members,emotional abuse, child labour, transactional sex and child marriage.Economic hardships due to lost jobs or unpaid leave also took a mental toll on household providers. Curfews and lockdowns not only served to increase GBV- related risks and violence against women and girls, but also limited survivors’ ability to distance themselves from their abusers as well as reducing their ability to access external support. Counties reached out to the Council of Governors seeking support,particularly in offering psycho-social support to survivors.Gender-based violence (GBV) cases affecting men, women and children, have increasingly been reported in Counties.Due to a surge in such cases,the County Government of Kwale launched a Gender-Based Violence Recovery Centre (GBVRC) at Kwale Referral Hospital and a toll-free hotline number (0800720503) to aid in reporting of the GBV cases.This 24-hour toll-free helpline is operated by a trained tele - counsellor who is responsible for providing psycho-social support to survivors.Before this, the only such facility was at the Coast General Hospital in Mombasa County and this in part caused delays in access to justice for Kwale County survivors. The GBVRC in Kwale intends to work closely with all security agents in the region to ensure that children’s rights are protected and perpetrators face the full force of the law.The Centre will offer,among other services, remote psychological first aid to GBV survivors, including male survivors whose GBV cases often go unreported due to cultural and social factors associated with masculinity. Men are encouraged to seek GBV support and not to shy away. GBV breaks men,women and children

County: Kwale
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