Mombasa opens first-ever county Gender Based Violence rescue center

Chief Justice Martha Koome and Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir during the launch of the first-ever GBV rescue center. [Ali Manzu, Standard]

Mombasa County has launched its first-ever gender-based violence rescue center in Maunguja area of Mwakirunge, Kisauni constituency.

Accompanied by Chief Justice Martha Koome, Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir said the center will act as an institution to help curb raising cases of gender-based violence in the county.

“This brick and mortar here [the GBV center] stands as a beacon of hope; a testament to my administration’s unwavering commitment to eradicating gender-based violence. Our mission is to create a society here in Mombasa where every individual, regardless of the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or their socio-economic status, can live a meaningful life free from fear and oppression,” said Nassir.

The county boss appears to have forged a close working relationship between the County Government of Mombasa and the Judiciary, focused specifically on access to justice for vulnerable communities.

This has seen the Chief Justice visit Mombasa County on three separate occasions to collaborate on various matters of mutual interest.

On her part, Koome lauded the Governor for his efforts in safeguarding women, stating that the launch of the center signals the collective responsibility approach between the various arms of government to deliver Justice to the public.

“I will work to ensure that a legal aid center is established within the resource center to empower the public on their rights,” Koome stated.

Mombasa has a total of 5,350 registered cases of physical and emotional violence. [Ali Manzu, Standard]

The county’s statistics reveal that there's a total of 5,350 registered cases of physical and emotional violence, and 866 cases of sexual violence have been recorded, with many more going unreported due to stigma and societal pressure.

The Governor expressed his concern that girls and women in Mombasa County continue to face disproportionate vulnerability to sexual abuse.

Nassir went on to raise alarm on the rising cases of GBV, particularly physical and emotional violence, among Mombasa’s young boys and men.

“The year 2022-2023 alone saw over 2,000 cases of such abuse among adolescent boys and men; underscoring the urgent need for collective action and awareness,” he said.

Also present was County Women Representative Hon. Zamzam Mohamed, Mombasa Presiding Judge Justice Olga Sewe, Mombasa Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku, and Members of the County Assembly Committee on Health and Social Services led by Chairman Bernard Ogutu and area MCA Mwinyi Khamis.