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Medics raise concern over men enduring violence in silence

 A depressed man covers his head after an argument. [Gety Images]

Medics have raised concerns over rising cases of men suffering from gender-based violence (GBV) in silence.

Male survivors of GBV were the centre of focus recently when Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) Eldoret and partners organised a 12-kilometre march in Eldoret town to create GBV awareness. 

Doctors at the Eldoret-based facility said it receives 400 victims of GBV every month and that men were suffering in silence and have been presenting GBV cases as accidents.

Records at the facility indicated that 80 per cent of those who reported GBV cases were women.

The Hospital Chief Executive Officer Wilson Aruasa said sexual GBV was on the rise and that concerted efforts would fight the menace.

Dr Aruasa said MTRH had established a unit designed for GBV survivors following the increasing number of cases.

 “The vice is rampant in the silent estates; most cases are not reported but they are happening. We must have zero tolerance for gender-based violence,” Dr Aruasa said after the walk.

Male victims of gender-based violence turning to suicide

He said the GBV centre established in 2007 at the emergency section of MTRH has been treating several cases that needed urgent intervention.

Dr Aruasa said the GBV section (Centre of Assault Recovery), is carrying out the collection of samples and swabs under one roof.

“We hope the new MTRH to be established in Kiplombe will have a fully set up GBV centre,” the CEO said. He said the police officers manning desks have been trained to handle GBV cases.

“We laud the national government and counties for setting up gender departments to handle GBV cases. We have done capacity building to over 25 counties to help them to support victims,” he said. He added that he was hopeful that universal health coverage would guarantee GBV victims access to treatment.

Head of Centre for Assault Recovery at MTRH Sr Irene Simiyu said less than ten per cent of men report GBV cases against them. She added that young children were among the survivors of GBV and noted that 80 per cent of cases were against children.

“We receive 400 cases of SGBV every month. It involves both genders and children as young as two years,” she said.

Sr Simiyu added: “We see men as we see women. Many men are victims of assault by their spouses. Based on the reported cases, we have found that when women assault men, they do it to the best of their ability, perhaps after persevering for years.”

MTRH nurse in charge of SGBV Selina Kogo said men were restricted by culture to speak up about gender-based assault against them.

“Male GBV victims are brought in as accident victims yet it is an assault case. Let us look at how to deal with cultural issues among men,” said Kogo.

She asked men to come out to defend their male counterparts when assaulted by their intimate partners.

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