Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary, Dr Mercy Mwangangi revealed she witnessed Gender-Based Violence at home over Easter and called on Kenyans to stop the vice.
Since the government issued the directive of the dusk till dawn curfew, gender-based violence cases have been on the rise.
Speaking in a press briefing on Tuesday, April 14, Mwangangi revealed that she witnessed gender-based violence at home.Health Ministry Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi addressing the media, April 2020.File
"Fellow Kenyans cognisant of the measures we have taken in the fight of this disease, we are now witnessing a spike in domestic violence, gender-based violence and sexual offences.
"Fellow Kenyans I have witnessed within the area that I live in, within this Easter weekend I actually had neighbours coming to my house to report a case of domestic violence.
"There is a lady who was severely beaten and really as a Ministry of Health what we are saying is now is not the time to engage in disputes and to forget ourselves in terms of conferring domestic violence to our partners."
Mwangangi added that the Ministry of Health is in constant communication with the Gender Violence Recovery Center and National Council on Administration of Justice who have revealed an increase in gender-based violence and also sexual violence.
The two bodies also noticed that the violence is perpetrated by close relatives and guardians.
Mwangangi urged Kenyans not to shift their attention from the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, "Fellow Kenyans even as we address this between the various government departments we are calling on Kenyans to focus on fighting the virus and to handle the disputes within the laid down civil structures and be void of any violence.
"We also want to remind anyone that the law has not been suspended and it will catch up with those who commit violence on others during this period."
In a follow-up question, Mwangangi noted that data on gender-based violence will be shared in due time, "With regard to gender-based violence this is an issue that we are actually looking at. Like I said it was brought to our attention within the past week that we have had an increase in cases.
"We will be able to share with you more detailed data, but off the cuff, the numbers we have right now at least from the National Justice Council is that we have three times more cases."
The issue on gender based violence during the pandemic is a global one with UN chief António Guterres on Monday April 6, calling for measures to address a "horrifying global surge in domestic violence" directed towards women and girls, linked to lockdowns imposed by governments responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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