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'War on gender violence costs Sh200m yearly'

COUNTIES
By Antony Gitonga | Nov 2nd 2015 | 1 min read

The country is spending over Sh200 million annually to treat victims of gender-based violence (GBV), according to the latest statistics.

The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) said the figures could, however, be higher if unreported cases are factored in.

According the commission's chairperson Winfred Lichuma, cases of GBV were on the rise mainly in rural areas with close relatives being the main perpetrators.

Ms Lichuma attributed the rise to awareness among victims who were coming out to report the cases.

She said the media has been playing a big role in reporting the cases.

"The country is using millions of shillings to rescue, treat, maintain and seek legal address for victims of gender based violence," she said.

Lichuma accused the Judiciary and the Government Chemist terming them as the weakest link in the fight against GBV.

She said due to lack of funds, the Government Chemist was unable to produce analysis of exhibits in court in time leading to dismissal of cases.

"We have seen courts issue questionable and weak sentences despite enough evidence, and this is affecting the fight against gender-based violence," she said.

She said the commission was ready and willing to work with the two arms of the Government to speed justice for victims and reduce backlog of cases in courts.

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