For 28 years the World has marked the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence“ campaign. It is co-ordinated by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) since 1991. It aims is to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence (GBV). The campaign is usually marked annually from November 25th – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – to December 10th Human Rights Day.
The Mater Misericordiae Hospital Nairobi Kenya in March 2017 embarked on a process to establish a charitable gender based violence program for the provision of Gender Based Violence (GBV)services to GBV survivors free of charge.
This was a new Mercy Ministry that emerged to serve those in need of urgent care and treatment. It was a way of caring and giving help to all survivors of Sexual Gender Based Violence women, men and children. We knew we had the expertise and were equip to give this care. It was only when we began caring we realized the magnitude of the problem.
Looking at the needs of our time we were prompted by Data provided from the National Crime Research Centre in Kenya released in 2014 that stated many women experience sexual abuse in all areas of their lives, be it in the home, work, on the streets and in educational facilities.
Out of the 66 women they interviewed who had admitted to having been sexually abused, 11 reported that they had been abused as children. Two thirds of the women were abused by somebody they knew, with 36 percent indicating they were abused by a family member and 27 by a neighbor.
Working collaboratively at Mater Misericordiae Hospital we have in 2019 cared for 44 cases of sexual gender based violence and 51 cases of physical assault. Since beginning in 2017 we have cared for 371 cases altogether
On Friday the 6th of December, 2019 we at Mater Misericordiae Hospital Nairobi Kenya played our part in our efforts to put a stop to Sexual Gender Based Violence by creating awareness through a 16 days of activism event. This was part of our efforts to end the scourge of SGBV (Sexual Gender Based Violence) and create awareness of the magnitude of the problem.
The theme this year was Orange the World with many places decorated with orange to bring attention to the initiative for gender equality to work on prevention and ending violence against women and girls.
We must continue to rally together in this awareness creation if we are to see change and make our world a better place to live in, ensuring the best for those entrusting themselves to our care.
Brigid Murnane rsm