The government has directed the police to provide P3 forms free of charge to survivors of gender-based violence.
Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa on Wednesday said because of the high poverty index, most survivors of gender-based violence including defilement, and rape go unreported.
“I want to say that the beginning of justice for our survivors is at the police. It is very sad that today a survivor is required to pay Sh1,000 - 3,000 to acquire a P3 form depending on the police station," Jumwa said.
The P3 form is a medical examination form that is issued to a survivor at a police station and is to be completed by a police officer and a trained medical practitioner after a physical examination and collection of specimens from the survivor. It is a legal document that is produced in court as evidence in cases that involve bodily harm.
"Acquiring a P3 form is the beginning of the journey to justice by the survivors. I would request that this service be rendered free of charge,” said Jumwa.
Speaking during the launch of the National Protection Against Domestic Violence (PADV) rules, Jumwa said that the government is determined to have an allocation of funds in support of GBV survivors by 2026, through the State Department for Gender.
“The Government of Kenya under the leadership of President William Ruto has zero tolerance for GBV. So, today, I want to declare total war on GBV,” emphasised Jumwa.
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The CS said domestic violence is a grave issue that affects individuals, families, and communities across the country which knows no boundaries of age, gender, socio-economic status, or ethnicity.
“It (GBV) leaves scars that are not always visible, tearing apart the fabric of our society, and undermining the very essence of human dignity,” said the CS.
Statistics from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey of 2022 indicate that over 40 per cent of women have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
Jumwa added, “The government has taken decisive steps to address domestic violence comprehensively, and the launched national protection against domestic violence rules will protect the rights, and provide a robust legal framework that strengthens the support and protection mechanism available to survivors”.
The rules emphasise prevention, intervention and holistic support, reflecting a multi-sectoral approach that involves collaboration between government agencies, civil society organisations, and the community at large. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to highlight some key aspects of these rules.
They also establish clear guidelines for obtaining protection orders, ensuring that survivors have access to swift and effective legal remedies.
Further, the rules will prohibit the perpetrator from further acts of violence, safeguarding the safety and security of the survivor and any children involved, and underscore the importance of public awareness and community engagement.
CS Ministry of Labour and Social Protection Florence Bore said the national protection against domestic violence rules will go a long way in strengthening the current mechanisms for the protection of victims of domestic violence.
Bore said domestic violence impacts negatively not only on the physical health of survivors, but also on the mental health and may lead to self-harm, isolation, depression, suicidal attempts, and domestic violence.
“I call upon all the stakeholders present here to be able to harness all the efforts and support the Ministry of Public Service and gender affairs towards the path to a Kenya that is free from domestic violence and where reproductive rights are respected,” said Bore.
Veronicah Wachuka, the Chief of Staff Office of Chief Justice (CJ) on her part said, “We know that about 68 per cent of cases of GBV go to the police and the administration elements of government, but only 10 per cent of cases come to the judiciary,”
Wachuka who represented CJ Martha Koome acknowledged that gender-based violence is happening across genders and across the spectrum of identity, including the LQBTQ community.
To enhance the fight against the vice, she said the judiciary is implementing a visual of social transformation through access to justice, or the use of the social transformation promise of the Constitution.
The chief justice has established 11 Sexual Gender Based Violence courts to enhance the justice-seeking process for survivors.
The courts are in GBV hotspot counties of Nairobi, Kisumu, Siaya, Meru, Nakuru, Machakos Mombasa, Kisii, Trans Nzoia, Kakamega and Kiambu.
On her part, the PS State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action Veronica Nduva said Kenya is determined to meet the 2026 targets of ending GBV.
“There is progress towards addressing the scourge of gender violence, and the launch of these rules is also a step towards that direction.
Also present was Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris, who emphasised the need to offer comprehensive sex education to address teenage pregnancy.