By Treezer Michelle Atieno
Safe houses play a crucial role in providing temporary shelter and support to gender-based violence (GBV) victims. Limited availability of such facilities in Kisumu County has had severe consequences for the affected individuals.
The effects of inadequate safe houses for GBV victims in Kisumu are far-reaching and detrimental. It leaves survivors without a safe space to escape from their abusers. Many victims of GBV face ongoing threats and violence from their perpetrators, making it essential for them to have a secure place to seek refuge. Without access to safe houses, these individuals are forced to remain in dangerous situations, increasing their risk of further harm.
The lack of safe houses also hinders the recovery process for GBV survivors. Safe houses not only provide physical safety but also offer counseling services, legal assistance, and other forms of support. These resources are crucial for survivors to heal from their traumatic experiences and regain control over their lives. Without adequate support systems in place, survivors may struggle to overcome the psychological and emotional impact of GBV.
Furthermore, the absence of safe houses perpetuates a cycle of violence. When victims have no alternative but to stay with their abusers due to the lack of safe accommodation options, it sends a message that GBV is tolerated and accepted in society. This normalization of violence can discourage survivors from reporting incidents or seeking help, as they may feel that there is no escape or justice available to them.
To address this issue and provide a way forward, several steps can be taken. Firstly, there needs to be an increase in the number of safe houses available in Kisumu. This can be achieved through collaboration between government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and community-based organizations. These entities should work together to secure funding, establish new safe houses, and ensure their sustainability.
Additionally, it is crucial to raise awareness about GBV and the importance of safe houses within the community. Education campaigns can help dispel myths and misconceptions surrounding GBV, encourage reporting, and promote a culture of support for survivors. By challenging societal norms that perpetuate violence, communities can play an active role in preventing GBV and supporting survivors.
Training programs should also be implemented to equip service providers with the necessary skills to effectively support GBV survivors. This includes training on trauma-informed care, counseling techniques, legal advocacy, and other relevant areas. By enhancing the capacity of service providers, the quality of support provided to survivors can be improved.