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ELECTION 2022

Women suffer trauma after invasion of privacy

COUNTIES
By ABIGAEL SUM | Mar 2nd 2014 | 2 min read

By ABIGAEL SUM

Experts have warned that subjecting a woman to public humiliation by stripping her naked over claims of indecent dressing amounts to abuse that leaves many victims distraught.

Women who have experienced this suffer psychological torture.

Because of the intrusion of their privacy, they develop resentment and anger towards the perpetrators.

Experts explain that the victims internalise the shame and feel that they are no longer worth because their self-esteem has been attacked.

A psychologist, Prof Catherine Gachutha of Kenya Institute of Business and Counseling Studies formally Maranatha College advices traumatised victims to seek counseling.

She says such incidents cause distress leading to confusion, which affects one’s decision making and problem solving ability as well as lowers their self-esteem.

“Some women end up having issues with men, distancing themselves from friends and relatives as well as having trouble relating with other people,” she says.

That notwithstanding, the indignity subjected to them also affects their performance at work and studies.

“In extreme situations victims end up hurting themselves physically and emotionally which can lead one to commit suicide,” she explains.

Gachutha further observed that counseling helps victims to redefine themselves while at the same time challenging their thinking and teaches them how to handle negative feelings.

“They feel injured, hurt and wounded and they have to talk to someone to find their footing. Someone who is not judgmental and will listen to them so that they can feel accepted, affirm themselves, regain their confidence, handle the negative feelings and reclaim what they have lost,” she says.

African Women’s Development and Communication Network (Femnet) is currently running a national campaign dabbed ‘STRIP ME NOT’ targeting boda boda operators, touts and drivers.

Ken Otina Program Associate, Regional Men to Men Program at Femnet states that boda boda operators, touts and drivers have often been cited as offenders.

“Touts, drivers and boda boda operators are the dominant people operating in bus stops and they deal with many clients daily. They command some authority and therefore better placed to guarantee safety for women,” he says.


 

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