The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Lobby Decries Male Abuse

Eighty per cent of male foreigners in Coast are victims of domestic abuse, a lobby group that fights for the rights of male victims has said.

Maendeleo ya Wanaume Organisation yesterday in Mombasa town released the report that spoke of gender-based violence.Speaking to the press, the lobby group's chairperson Nderitu Njoka said the abuse is rampant.

He said many of the abused men are afraid to speak openly about their abuse.Njoka said police officers do not arrest women suspected of domestically abusing their spouses.

"The findings are sad. Most of the victims find it difficult to report to the authorities for fear of their life's since they live in a foreign country and lack assistance from their embassies," said Njoka.

Njoka said women have been empowered through strong legislative laws leaving the men vulnerable to abuse."More and more men are at the centre of violence as women enjoy concrete laws that protect their rights nationally and internationally," said Njoka.

The lobby group said the survey, which has been conducted in an 11-month period, reveals foreigners married to Kenyans for over ten years were the most at risk of abuse.

The findings are from research conducted in the Coast region from February 2012 till December 2012. It involved five counties including Mombasa, Malindi, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Kilifi County. "The survey shows foreigners living in the country for over 10 years face the highest risk of gender-based violence," said Njoka.

The survey also revealed that men have little or no say on their conjugal rights as it is the women who dictate whether to get intimate or not.

According to Njoka, most of the men stay in the abusive and violent relationships to protect their children, while others have invested heavily in Kenya and cannot simply pack and leave.

Njoka called for the establishment of specialized family courts to arbitrate such matters. He also called for special desks to be set up away from the police stations where such matter can be reported.

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