Childline continues to make great impact in child protection one child at a time. Everyday more than 3,000 calls are made through the national child helpline 116 service. Some of these calls are of children who are survivors of various forms of child abuse including sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse. Childline is committed to ensure the little voices of the affected children are heard and they receive the immediate child protection services required including counseling, legal support, medication and temporary shelter. Financial support through our GlobalGiving partners makes it possible for Childline Kenya to coordinate the access to these services for free or for very subsidized rates to the children and their families. This quarter we highlight the case of a teenager who is a victim of circumstances and who is taken advantage of continuously in the name of saving her mother's marriage. A total of 25% of all child abuse cases reported to Childline Kenya were of various forms of chid sexual abuse similar to the example presented. This is alarming and must be dealt with head-on so that children are protected from abuse in such great numbers. Thanks to GlobalGiving this is possible a dollar at a time to help Childline reach a child at a time to shine a light on child abuse in Kenya.
Ruth a 15 year old girl will become a mother in August 2019 adding on to the number of teenage pregnancies currently being experienced in the country. Her mother re-married after divorcing her biological Father and they all moved to their new home. As soon as they settled in Ruth was asked to be sleeping at her step grandfather’s house because their new house was smaller and there was not much privacy for the parents. During her stay at the grandfather’s house Ruth was defiled every night by the grandfather. Despite reporting this to her mother no attempt was made to report, arrest the perpetrator or even provide Ruth with an alternative sleeping place. All her mother told her was that if they reported it would cause bad blood and this could result to them being chased away. Directly translated she told Ruth to “Help her keep peace in her new marital home”.
After a while new sleeping arrangements were made for Ruth. She was moved to be sleeping at her polygamous step uncle’s home. Her step uncle started defiling her as well and this time she conceived. When she told her Uncle about the pregnancy he beat her senseless and told her he did not want any association with the pregnancy. He then gave her one dollar and asked her to relocate to avoid conflict with his family since his two wives were threatening her as well.
She left and started wandering aimlessly not knowing where to go or what to do with herself in her situation. A pastor spotted her as she was begging for food at the Kenya Uganda boarder. He got curious and approached her. She narrated her ordeal to him. The pastor called Childline Kenya who in turn mobilized the rescue team consisting of Ruth’s former teacher, area chief and the sub county coordinator of Children Services.
Ruth is in a safe place currently and the perpetrators have been arrested. She is still receiving psycho social support including counseling and will resume school once she has delivered her baby. Childline conducts regular follow up to ensure the perpetrators do not walk Scott free so that justice is served for Ruth. This will also deter other members of the community from engaging in illicit relationships with underage girls.
Support to children like Ruth is made possible through our partners on the GlobalGiving platform and for that we are eternally grateful.
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