Keeping Children safe

Nature: Emotional Abuse

Location: Nairobi
Age: 10

Sandra, a 10-year-old girl lives with her uncle and his wife. Sandra is always beaten and shouted at. She is called names like Satan (shetani), and told she is a thief like her father, and is also denied food at times.  She is warned not to share the mistreatment with anybody or else she will be killed. She is made to go to school even without a sweater in the morning chill. She therefore lives in constant fear not knowing what more abuse would come her way at any time.  When the case was brought to the attention of the helpline, the children officer in the area was notified to take action. The couple was summoned. The abuser confessed to the abuse but pleaded ignorance. She said that was the only way she knew to “keep the girl in her place”.

They were taken through psycho-education on good parenting and the effects of emotional abuse on children. They were then required to report to the children’s office fortnightly to provide update on the child’s welfare. The child is doing well now and the neighbours are on the look-out for any more abuse.

Security personnel near a border town allegedly defiled an eight years old girl.  The incidence occurred while she was herding goats by the roadside in the company of two other children aged between four and six years who managed to escape and notified her mother. The mother found her daughter, unconscious and bleeding profusely from her genitals. The locals accommodated the mother and child for three days. On the fourth day, a village elder intervened and took them to the military camp for assistance. The military health officer examined the child and later referred her to the hospital for further management. She was later rushed to Nairobi and successfully went through several reconstructive surgeries at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital through the Gender Violence Recovery Centre. She remained hospitalized for two months. Meanwhile the child helpline team supported by various arms of government initiated the case investigation process and visited the scene of the crime twice. Sadly, this is one of the many cases that has dragged on and is riddled with many intrigues. The young girl was placed at the safe house to continue recuperating. She was then reintegrated back home after getting better. But who bears her pain? Will justice ever be served for her?