Alarm over rise of defilement cases in Kisumu

At least 1,482 defilement cases have been reported in Kisumu County between January and August this year.

Authorities in Kisumu County have raised alarm over increasing cases of defilement.

Latest figures from Jaramogi Odinga Oginga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) Gender Based Violence and Recovery Center, show at least 1,482 defilement cases have been reported between January and August this year.

This is up from 886 cases reported from January to December last year. In these statistics, 98 per cent of the victims are girls.

Of the defilement cases reported this year, only 36 have been taken to court. A case less than last year.

July this year recorded the highest number of defilement cases at 352, followed by August which had 247.

March had the third highest number of cases with 205, followed by April with 116 cases being reported at the hospital.

Suffer in silence

Lavine Achieng, the head of Heart to Heart Foundation, an NGO that deals with gender-based violence, said that most families fear reporting defilement cases due to the stigmatisation that comes with it.

Pamela Mokeira, a manager at JOOTRH, however said this is changing. She said the high number of cases recorded this year was because more people were coming out to report the abuse.

 According to Kisumu County Director of Gender and Social Services Joel Okumu, many of the victims are often left to suffer in silence as perpetrators roam freely.

“Some of these cases happen within family members and it becomes hard for victims to disclose," Mr Okumu said.

He attributes the increasing numbers of defilement cases to moral disintegration in the society.

He also attributes the increase of cases in the months of March, April, July and August to school going children being home.

“During these periods children are at home for holidays. They become easy targets for perverts,” said Okumu.