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New unit to protect children

By James Omoro | July 21st 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

From left, Kisii County Police Commander Jebel Munene, Nyanza Regional Police Commander Noah Muivanda and Homa Bay County Police Commander Esther Seroney address journalists during the official opening of a Child Protection Unit (CPU) at Homa Bay police station. [James Omoro, Standard]

Police in Homa Bay County have established an office to address rising cases of physical and sexual abuse among children in the county.

The Child Protection Unit (CPU) was opened yesterday by Nyanza Regional Police Commander Noah Muivanda. He was accompanied by Homa Bay County Police Commander Esther Seroney and her Kisii counterpart Jebel Munene.

The CPU will be based in a new building at the Homa Bay Police Station. It will be used to temporarily accommodate abused minors for a few days before they can be moved to a children’s rescue centre.

Muivanda said the CPU will protect children from abuse suspects who might seek to compromise them.

According to the police boss, perpetrators often interfere with evidence that can be used in prosecution.

“It is risky for a child who has been abused to stay at home because the suspect will find ways to compromise them. That is why we have established the CPU,” Muivanda said.

 

Gather evidence

He revealed that police officers had received training on handling victims to ensure that they find justice.

“The purpose of accommodating these children is to protect their lives and gather evidence. The evidence will seal loopholes through which perpetrators may escape legal action when the case is filed in court.”

The police boss said they had begun conducting public awareness campaigns against defilement and other forms of gender-based violence in the region.

Nominated Homa Bay MCA Nereah Oketch offered to equip the CPU. “I am going to buy chairs to be used in the unit by Monday. We want to utilise the facility to reduce cases of defilement in this county.”

Cases of sexual abuse against girls have been reported in the county since schools were shut in March to curb spread of the novel coronavirus disease.


Homa Bay County Child Protection Unit
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