Sexual Violence and Exploitation

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Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence involving men and women. Both women and men can be survivors of this type of violence, but women are usually most affected by it due to the unequal power relationships between men and women. GBV is directed specifically against a woman because she is a woman. It includes, but is not limited to, physical, sexual and psychological harm including intimidation, suffering, coercion and/or deprivation of liberty within the family, or within the general community. It also includes violence which is perpetrated or condoned by the state.

Sometimes for many young people, sex is not a choice. Rape happens when a person is forced to have sex without consenting. Defilement happens when sex occurs with a person who is younger than the age of 18 according to the Constitution of Kenya (2010), the Children’s Act (2001) and the Sexual Offences Act (2006).

For girls and women, the short-and long-term consequences of sexual violence can be physically and emotionally damaging. Because of the sexual nature of rape crimes, survivors often suffer from serious mental issues. This is especially true in societies with strong sexual customs and taboos. If someone is raped and reports it to you, encourage them to go to a hospital. At the hospital, they will have a medical evaluation and attention to any injuries, counseling support for the survivor and her family, treatment to prevent infection with HIV, pregnancy, and other sexually transmitted infections. Referrals to other services maybe required.

The National Gender Based Violence Toll Free Hotline 1195

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