The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Sodomy up, Victims Mum

Sexually-abused men at the Coast do not seek professional help. The gender coordinator at Aphia Plus yesterday said sodomised men suffer in silence it is believed in the African culture that men are not vulnerable to gender-based violence.

Phylis Sande said sodomy cases are on the rise at the Coast and one is exposed to many risks if they do not seek treatmentand justice.

"Most sodomised men have developed a phobia about reporting the incidents. Only extreme cases are reported," she said at a Sauti ya Wanawake Pwani breakfast meeting in Mombasa.

Sande said just like women, men are vulnerable to GBV especially with emerging trends in lifestyle and cultural dynamics. "One third of GBV cases are sodomy. Most victims are below 18 years. We want many cases reported because we know they exist in large numbers," she said.

Sande added that GBV includes marital conflicts where men are battered by their women. Many cases of husband battering were reported in Central Kenya early this year.

Kwale gender coordinator Patrick Mbanu said the perception that only women are vulnerable to GBV has left men languishing in pain. He blamed the rise of gender-based violence on harsh social-economic conditions.

"People turn to violence to lash out against the harsh economic times. That is the reason GBV is taking a different dimension leading to death, men hacking children, wives battering husbands and so on," said Mbanu.

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