When Ruth first attended our workshop, she had no idea that domestic violence was a criminal offense. In fact, she laughed us off, describing her previous beatings as part of her marriage covenant. She was insistent that even if her husband continued molesting her, she would not report to the police. Or to any other authorities.
We buried her a week ago. She was battered by her husband and left for dead outside her house. When she was discovered in the morning, it was already too late.
Recent surveys in the country indicate that more cases of gender-based violence are turning fatal. Two prominent personalities have died due to family violence in the past month.
With the increasing case of family violence comes a sober realization that more needs to be done to tame the growing cancer.
The fight against HIV/Aids is gaining positive results because of continued awareness and public outreach. A recent study indicated that the prevalence had decreased from 14% to 6% last year.
GEMINI believes that putting such effort in the fight against gender-based violence would tremendously reduce such cases. Last month alone, our grassroots officers provided legal information and IEC materials to 113 women, most of them living in rural areas. A village-to-village campaign was mounted in Kapkoi where Ruth lived.
A special task force, comprising gender-sensitive men, has been formed to reach out to older men. An outreach campaign targeting young men in/out of school, is also being rolled out.
Your continued support is very instrumental in ensuring that more people are aware about the fatal consequences of gender-based violence. We hope that your support will continue to be forthcoming as we dig deeper into demystifying family violence.
We also thank all of you that have continued to write to us, comment on our reports and make generous donations. We promise to keep you updated on our efforts.