SEXUAL HARASSMENT ON GIRLS LIVING WITH DISABILITY IN MIGORI

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As more regions report infection and stay-home order due to COVID-19 pandemic, a family in Nyatike subcounty, Migori county seeks justice for their daughter who was sexually harassed by a well known man.

Belinda Gumo, deaf explains that she was harassed by one of the fishermen named Dan who also poured porridge on her upon refusing. She said the accused still roams free in Bongu village of Nyatike. 

Belinda, 16 who is also partial orphan explained that efforts to get justice never yielded any positive result as nobody has recalled her to the police station after her statement. 

Her mother Lucy Adhiambo Gumo said her movements are curtailed since the said Dan has been threatening her and the family. She said raising her deaf daughter has not been easy as she must slowly learn her language which is coming with more challenges and constantly looking after her physically.Belinda’s principal Mrs.

Millicent Akinyi said people living with disabilities just as all people in Kenya, have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. The B.L Tezza Special School Karungu principal who is also her interpretor said her student was assaulted on 17th May 2020 and are greatly angered and alarmed at the recent spate of sexual and physical assaults of women with disabilities.

 Akinyi said that because of entrenched stigma against disabled people, many family members do not want to associate themselves with public enquiries about, despite the fact that the victims are their children or relatives.

Migori county woman representative Hon. Pamela Odhiambo condemned gender based violence in Migori citing that the increase in violence against women must be dealt with urgently with measures embedded in economic support and stimulus packages that meet the gravity and scale of the challenge and reflect the needs of physically challanged family who face multiple forms of discrimination. 

Pamela called for all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19. 

By Basil Okoth