Children in Kilifi for far too long have been left to suffer in the hands of predators. Predators who are known to be their fathers. However, these cases have been left unreported out of fear of suffering. Their fathers are known to be the breadwinners of the family, therefore, leaving no choice for mothers who have no source of livelihood.
Women are left to live with dark secrets and shame to keep their families together. Children are left to abuse repeatedly for going through child labour to support their families after their fathers are incarcerated. Gender activists have stepped in to save these children from abuse.
Nation Media Group reports of one activist Judy Uchi from Sauti ya Wanawake in Coast. Judy says,” In most cases, the father is the breadwinner and when he is jailed the family suffers. As a result, most families do not report cases of sexual abuse to the police. They go to Kangaroo courts”.
Judy calls for the government to empower young girls abused by close relatives. She also says that most girls are still going through the abuse because no one is giving them a helping hand.
Susan Kazungu from Maemo village in Ganze constituency narrates how she is suffering after her husband was jailed for defiling their 16-year old daughter. Susan has 13 children depending on her. One of her sons broke his spinal cord after falling from a tree while chasing a monkey down for dinner.
He worked as a wine tapper and would get Ksh 1000 per day from harvesting 25 coconut trees. He can no longer go to work to provide for the family due to the injury. Ksh 250,000 is needed for him to go for surgery, and so far, well-wishers have been able to raise kshs 50,000.
She says that her husband’s family blames her for the predicament that she is in, and therefore they are unwilling to help her. On average, she only makes shs400. Women tell similar stories to Ms. Kazungu’s from Kilifi.