- Institutional responses to Gender Based Violence
- DEVLINK Rescues a 14 Year old school Girl from 1month marriage to a Teacher
Jane Doe a 7 year old girl was defiled by a neighbor (adult) well known to her who lured her to his house by asking her to accompany him to the shops with the promise of being given sweets. After the defilement Jane Doe did not tell her mother for a week due to fear but confided in her friend Grace whom she told what had happened to her the previous week. DEVLINK had earlier visited her friends’ school (Grace’s school) and talked to the pupils about sexual / gender based violence and defilement of children. In this forum the pupils were advised to open up to their parents whenever their rights are violated by anybody. This made Grace open up to her mother about what happened to her friend Jane Doe. Grace’s mother then reported to Jane Doe’s mother what had happened to her daughter Jane Doe. Jane Doe’s mother then visited DEVLINK offices to seek advice on how to access justice. Even though the case was reported late that could interfere with evidence, Jane Doe’s mother was advised to visit the hospital first for medical checkup before reporting the case at the police station. Unfortunately at the hospital Jane Doe’s mother was asked to pay Ksh. 2,000 for medical charges and for filling the P3 form. She tried to explain to the doctor that she was a widow and could not afford Ksh 2000, but the health care personnel insisted on the payment. Jane Doe’s mother had to go and borrow the money from her neighbors. She went back with the money but only three hundred was receipted. At the police station she was again asked by police to pay Ksh. 1000 for recording the statement. The figure was bargained down to Ksh 500. Since it was late she was advised to come with the witness the following day. On the next day she was again asked to pay Ksh. 200 to finish writing the statement. After the statement was written the man was arrested and taken to court and bailed. The first mention of the cases at the courts went well since the man was there and both Jane Doe and her friend gave their statements but unfortunately during the second hearing the man did not attend court and they had to postpone the hearing. This happened two more times and all this time Jane Doe’s mother had to go the court with her daughter and pay for the transportation cost. She came and reported this to DEVLINK offices. DEVLINK contacted the standard media group to investigate the matter from Homabay law court. The visit by the media prompted the court to ensure that the perpetrator recalled from his hideout to attend court proceedings. It was learnt that the perpetrator had colluded with some “officers” not to report for the proceedings as a delaying tactic. The victim’s file had also disappeared. During a gender forum with Institutional leaders conducted by DEVLINK, Jane Doe’s mother narrated her experience about her ordeal with the institutions and the challenges to access justice for her daughter. The Judiciary executive officer of the court was in attendance and on hearing the experience advised her to see him during the next court session which was scheduled for 4th August 2009. Jane Doe’s mother went to court and the hearing went well, she was also refunded transportation cost she had incurred when coming to court. Jane Doe’s mother is grateful to DEVLINK intervention as she now has hope that the long awaited justice for her daughter will finally be realized.
An orphan living with her old uncle on Rusinga Island did her final Std 8 National Exams in 2008. One day she went to visit her former female classmate whose father was also a teacher in the same school. Being vulnerable as she was, the teacher advised her that he would get her a sponsor to fund her secondary school education since her guardians would not afford taking her to a secondary school. Hardly did the little girl know that the teacher had different intension. In a week’s time the girl was persuaded and turned into a wife. Neighbors’ reported the case to DEVLINK office who embarked on a 3 day thorough investigation before they talked to the girl. A neighbor sneaked the girl to our office and lucky enough she opened up about the issue and confided in us that actually the teacher had cheated her into marriage. With the help of other government officials and Standard Media group, DEVLINK rescued the girl from this marriage. The teacher was suspended from work as he waited for his case to be discussed. Fortunately when the results came out, the girl had passed well and she was called to one of the Girls’ Schools in Suba District. The girl is now in School.