Cities on Edge Youth Knife Crime on the Rise - crime si poa 

Cities on Edge: Youth Knife Crime on the Rise 

Residents in Kondele, Migosi, Jua Kali and Obunga areas of Kisumu City are still reeling from a recent spate of an unexplained wave of theft, violence, and loss of lives executed by well informed and organized faceless gangs in the city involving the glint of a blade. It is the same story in sections of  Mathare, Kariobangi, Eastleigh, Kawangware, and Dandora areas of Nairobi that have also witnessed a disproportionate level of the same crime. 

Cynthia Kawira

NO Time For Excuses – Cynthia’s Story.

In the heart of the bustling city of Nairobi, where everybody migrates to look for opportunities, Cynthia Kawira has been hopeful of gaining meaningful employment having graduated from The Cooperative University of Kenya as a social worker in 2022. 

As the days turned into weeks and weeks into months, Cynthia’s optimism began to wane. The job applications she sent out seemed to disappear into an abyss, and the few interviews she managed to secure ended with polite rejections. 

She is among the growing youthful generation brimming with aspirations and ambitions but facing the unyielding tide of youth unemployment. She however did not get discouraged and decided to take up volunteer work to enhance her skills 

“I took up the paralegal training offered by Crime Si Poa so that I can provide legal awareness to my community members rather than just sitting idle. I am now volunteering with the organization, conducting youth empowerment programs in Kajiado County; educating them on access to justice, crime, drugs and substance abuse, and environmental conservation. I look forward to specializing in counseling issues in legal law, emotional and psychological matters,” she says. 

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) report released early this year, the number of Kenyans without jobs increased to more than 2.97 million in the last quarter of 2022 from 2.89 million in the previous quarter, underscoring the labor market woes in the wake of elevated inflation and reduced activity in the dominant agricultural sector. The report states that more than half of the numbers are youthful population, underlining the growing crisis of youth unemployment in the country. 

Speaking on Prime Time TV47 to commemorate this year’s International Day of Youth with the theme; Green Skills for Youth, towards a sustainable world, Cynthia underscored the fact that as much as colleges and universities were releasing many graduates in the job market, few are able to secure opportunities, and most end up in casual jobs. 

“Most youths find it hard to accept that they are unemployed after studying hard and graduating, hence feel uncomfortable to work in areas not in their line of career. I, however, implore them to take up the jobs to develop their skills because the job market requires different skill sets; you never know where you may land. It also gives you an opportunity to learn leadership skills,” she said during the show 

Cynthia, however, called on the government to review the education curriculum so that it is skills-based and promotes entrepreneurship rather than focusing only on passing exams. This, she said, would help in addressing the issue of youth unemployment.  

At the same time, Crime Si Poa Executive Director, Mr. Peter Ouko, underscored the fact that youth need not consider skills acquired in technical studies at the polytechnics and vocational centers as inferior to what others learn in university. He encouraged them to take up the courses as the demand for technical jobs was high worldwide. He further called on the government to be consistent in youth-centric programs as lack of opportunities is what forces many youths into crime. 

Pete and Cynthia during the show

Having founded Crime Si Poa while in prison following a wrongful conviction, Peter said that 75 % of inmates belong to the youth bracket with some having been wrongfully convicted. “Crime Si Poa started through sensitization against crime from prison and we used our networks outside to reach out to the youth,” he added. 

Noting that there is a need to create alternatives to address the issue of unemployment, he called on the government to simplify the process of the acquisition of passports so that many youths can seek and access opportunities in other countries. 

Click this link to follow the complete interview: LIVE ||TV47 WEEKEND EDITION || TO THE POINT 

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From Mukuru to Oxford.

James Mutugi Wangechi is not a known name, not famous, at least not by the standards of fandom in the country. He is little known now, even in his neighborhood. That notwithstanding, he is on a mission to change the world with his hands, canvas, and some paint.

“I hail from a small slum called Mukuru Kayamba in Nairobi, Kenya. My family was dysfunctional, and it saw me get all the multifaceted person you see today.”

James started schooling at Pumwani high school, a journey he reminisces with nostalgia and some not-so-pleasant memories. He was from a dysfunctional family, not the normal one where one parent is active and the other is not; he was different. All the parents were absent! He had t learn the survival tactics all alone.

His relatives seeing how he was struggling with school and being alone with his mother, who was a drug addict decided. “ I was taken to a children’s home by an aunty who saw the agony and struggles that I was going through; I felt relieved for the moment.” His love for art was birthed here. He started with simple sketches, but it did not last long.

His cheeky behavior made him fall into the children’s home, and he ran away from class seven just before he sat for his primary education. “ I went to stay with my aunty, who had taken me to the children’s home. Although not well off, she managed to take me in,” he said. His love for art made him a name at Pumwani, where he attended his secondary school, and he said that he made money from skills that helped him offset some of his school fees in the first and second forms.

His delinquent side would catch up with him immediately after completing his high school education. He got into crime, and his aunty had to throw him out. “ I was a grown-up now, and I gave her no other option. She did what she could to protect herself and her kids.” He had nowhere to call home, and that’s how he ended up being a street-connected family. He continued his street criminal activities until the law caught up with him. He was sentenced to 10 years. This is where he met his longtime mentor Peter Ouko, the founder of Crime Si Poa, who counseled him against crime.

Like we all do when faced with adversaries, he needed a distraction, and his hope lay in the canvas and papers. It kept him going. “Canvas was like my therapy and the rehabilitation that I needed in my life; it embraced me” His inborn talent embraced him, and he started doing artwork seriously.

Today he paints to talk about police brutality, prevalent in African informal settlements, and social inequalities affecting the community. “I have also painted some of my life experiences and life happenings to those around me. My paintings are exhibited at the Kenya National Museum and Mukuru art club in Makadara constituency in Nairobi,” he noted. At 40 years of age, his paints have received global recognition and will be presented at Oxford University for a death penalty project workshop and conference.

He noted with apprehension that the Kenyan artworks are not yet entirely accepted as people perceive them as a rich man’s affair. “One day, you could be making a killing but then spend the next following months with no sales whatsoever. People who love and appreciate art buy for they know its worth. I would, however, love to see more people come and support the course,” said Mutugi.

In his free time, he mentors young and talks to young people about crime. Mutugi has been a crusader and grand champion of crime-free societies. He thanks Crime Si Poa for all the support he received in referrals and psychosocial counseling before being reinterrogated in the community.

As we left his museum, he also excused himself to go to another exhibition he was eyeing at Alliance Française; he is a man on a mission.

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Time to Abolish the Death Penalty is Now.

The 8th World Congress on the Abolition of the Death Penalty came to a grand close at the historic Berlin Town Hall Ballroom on 18th November 2022 with a clarion call to the retentionist countries to move with purpose to abolish the archaic practice. 

During the congress organized by the French based organization, Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (Together Against the Death Penalty) and attended by delegates representing 130 countries from across the globe, senior government ministers, youth, parliamentarians, jurists, and members of the civil society shared their different countries’ experiences in the abolition journey and best practices in championing for a death penalty free world. 

With Rwanda and Burundi, countries which have both undergone the worst genocide in the region having abolished the death penalty, and with the Zambian President and its parliament undertaking resolute measures to have the death penalty abolished in their country by the end of this year, Kenya, whose youth delegation stole the show at the World Congress, and which has had a moratorium on executions since 1987, should be well primed to claim its place in the high table of the abolitionist movement . 

Reports by both the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee (POMAC) indicate the unanimous public view as being for the abolition of the death penalty in Kenya. The reports capture feedback from Kenyans as being in favor of alternative sentences to the death penalty. 

Opening the Congress, themed “Let’s rekindle the abolitionist flame!” the German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock. These sentiments were echoed by Ministers from across the world attending the congress.  

Moderating the youth plenary session at the congress dubbed “The New Abolitionist Generation – Transmission and Innovation”, Sylvia Morwabe, the Programs Director at Kenyan based NGO, Crime Si Poa emphasized that the fight for abolition involves both the younger and older generation and encouraged all to commit to adopting an inclusive and intersectional approach that involves supporting and building the capacity of young abolitionists to enable them carry out their actions and reinforce the fight towards achieving universal abolition. 

Speaking at the closing ceremony presided over by the Former French Minister of Justice Arian Gresillon, and during which he was honored to present the Courage Award to the winners; RACOPEM of Cameroon and Pakistan Justice Project, Crime Si Poa Executive Director Pete Ouko rallied the delegates to work in unison and push until all countries abolished the death penalty.  

Recollecting his journey on death row due to a wrongful conviction, Pete called on World leaders to focus more on restorative as opposed to retributive justice. He noted that available data proves that countries without the death penalty have progressive,  correctional criminal justice systems in practice and less violent crimes in general. 

Honored to be appointed as the local partner of ECPM in the global abolition movement, Crime Si Poa calls on His Excellency President William Ruto to lead from the front in this final push to have Kenya death penalty free.  

Crime Si Poa which holds the unique distinction of being the first NGO to be formed on death row, and is currently led by a death row survivor, works in the social justice space to improve access to justice for all while building community ownership around safety and security issues through proximate youth leadership and strategic partnerships with players in the criminal justice sector.

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A date with MS. President Season 2 Contestants

By Calvince Otieno

On Mashujaa Day as the country celebrated legendary heroes, Crime Si Poa (CSP) was honored to host 6 final contestants of Ms President’s TV Show Season 2, at the head office in Nairobi. The purpose of the visit was to prepare the contestants on the topic of National Security, by learning the work CSP is doing in reforming and transforming communities into crime-free societies.  

The contestants from across the country included Pauline Odongo, Siaya County, Nuru Muhame, Kwale County, Bina Maseno, Nairobi County, Milkah Righa, Taita Taveta, Fridah Karani, Embu County and Angela Mbuthia, Kiambu County.

Speaking during the session with 6 final contestants from the highly contested TV Show aired on KTN Home, Sylvia Morwabe, Programs Director at Crime Si Poa, shared programs Crime Si Poa is working on especially with collaboration with the criminal justice system and the contribution it has made on matters national security.

“We are excited to host the final female contestants of the Ms President show and discuss pertinent issues concerning national Security. We hope the conversation we had during this session will prepare them for future high-level public service roles, whether elective or appointive, and contribute to making this country a crime-free society,” said Sylvia.  

According to Sylvia, Crime Si Poa is a non-governmental organization, anchored on three pillars, Inform, Reform, and Transform, hence such partnership will contribute largely to fostering good leadership, governance, access to justice and rule of law at the grassroots level.

“Our key goal with other organizations who are stakeholders in the criminal justice system is not to antagonize each other, but instead collaborate and find solutions to some of the issues affecting the community,” Sylvia said.

Rahma Ramadhan one of the Ms President finalists acknowledges the work being done by CSOs and especially Crime Si Poa of ensuring women and youth are involved in finding solutions to issues of security affecting communities in Kenya.

“Police reforms were informed by a lot of work done by civil societies. I am impressed by Sheria Mashinani project by Crime Si Poa. This is a great initiative geared towards ensuring access to justice for all is a reality,” said Rahma. Ms President’s show aims at increasing women’s political representation and participation. Women under this program are being exposed to leadership in various areas that the presidency handles from economics, governance and leadership.

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Community Members Lead Anti-FGM Campaign in Kajiado County

By Calvince Otieno

In Kajiado County Female Genital Mutilation, (FGM) is prevalent and forced on young girls despite being illegal in Kenya. The harmful cultural practice has largely affected school-going girls. Most teenage girls drop out of school and engage in early marriage, after undergoing FGM. Crime Si Poa (CSP) in partnership with Kwetu ni Loitokot community-based organizations (CBO) are trying to end this vice that is deeply rooted in Masaai culture.
Speaking during a forum held in Loitoktok by Crime Si Poa (CSP) and Kwetu ni Loitoktok CBO, last week to facilitate constructive debate on how to eliminate FGM and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Kajiado, Patrick Bure, Assistant County Commissioner urged community members to drop harmful cultural practices such as FGM and gender-based violence that are retrogressive to the growth and development of the Community.
“As a community, we must come together, join hands with other activists and support the government’s drive to end cases of female genital mutilation in Kenya. We need also to have equal rights for all to ensure everyone lives a dignified life,” said Patrick.
In Kajiado County, FGM was perpetuated by the misguided belief that it instilled good morals and discouraged promiscuity in young girls. A belief that has been termed misleading and not backed by any scientific research.
“FGM and gender-based violence do occur because they are culturally supported in this community. A woman is treated like a child. There is a bad perception that a woman can be corrected when she does something wrong, by punishment. This is unacceptable and against human rights,” said Rafael, a member of the community.
The practice of FGM is illegal in Kenya, with the government pledging to eradicate it by the end of 2022, eight years ahead of the global deadline of 2030.

According to Moses Orundu, Sub-County Health Commissioner, FGM has largely contributed to Gender-Based Violence with one gender perceived to be lesser than the other. However domestic violence among families has also been fueled by drugs and substance abuse, especially among male counterparts.

“In this area, there is high usage of marijuana and consumption of alcohol. This has resulted in misunderstandings among family members, which end up being violent. The high cost of leaving has also pushed community members to engage in crude ways of earning a living. We need urgent intervention,” Lamented Orundu

Crime Si Poa and Kwetu Ni Loitoktok after the event met with Shadrack Ruto, OCPD, Kajiado South Police Division, and engaged in ways to protect young girls and women from vices such as FGM and SGBV.

“Unfortunately many locals are not willing to cooperate with the police officers including area administrations like the chiefs. It is important to work with you to create the much-needed awareness in this area to eradicate, FGM, SGBV, drug and substance abuse as well as empower our community,” the OCPD concluded.

Crime Si Poa is in the process of extending its hands to partner with other community groups in Kajiado County to sensitize the locals on issues concerning mental health, domestic violence, and FGM.

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Balling with the Community: Providing Alternative Solutions to Crime and Drug Addiction

By Calvince Otieno

Last Saturday saw over 400 youth and community members, mostly street families, from the Majengo area in Nairobi took part in a sizzling football tournament dubbed “kicking off crime and drug addiction from society” at St John’s Community Center in Pumwani.

Organized by Street Changers CBO in partnership with Crime Si Poa and other community-focused organizations, the event was aimed at creating awareness of social issues affecting young people in the city.

Young people from the area hitherto infamous for social vices including radicalization had an opportunity to showcase their talent in singing, dancing, and acrobatics. The community also benefitted from free guidance and counseling services at the Crime Si Poa tent and a medical camp by CheckUps Medical Center.

‘’The health of these children matters, and as an organization, we have today decided to offer free medical checkups so that if one is found ill, he or she can start medication as early as possible,’’ said Dorcas Saina, Marketing Officer, CheckUps Medical Center.

According to Ruth Wambui, Project Officer Crime Si Poa, the tournament came at a time when most young people in the community are facing a myriad of challenges, ranging from, unemployment, drug and substance use, mental health issues, crime, as well as sexual and gender-based violence.

“Apart from ensuring we keep sane and fit; the event creates awareness of the effects of crime and substance use, especially among street families. We are also here to avail services such as counseling to help build better mental health among young people,” said Ruth, adding “A great way to spread awareness about mental health is by engaging in events in your community such as this tournament to learn more and connect with others.”

Ruth further urged young people to speak out against sexual and gender-based violence in the community.

Speaking at the event, Thomas Lindi from Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance (KETCA) cautioned the youth especially members of the street families against consuming tobacco substances, warning of their adverse effects on health.

‘’Smoking tobacco causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also increases the risk of tuberculosis. Young people, please keep away from tobacco substances,’’ Lindi pleaded.

Three teams, Pumwani Football Club, Young Achievers, and Zero Street participated in the tournament with the hosts Pumwani emerging as the winners after defeating Zero Street 2- 1 in the finals. The winners and runners-up were all rewarded with a new ball and trophy while the third-placed team got a trophy.

The Crime Si Poa street families project is aimed at the holistic reformation, rehabilitation of, and reintegration into the society of street children and is ably supported by the Schooner Foundation.

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Stigma to Acceptance – Creating Safe Spaces for Mental Health

By Calvince Otieno

One notable outcome of the COVID-19 era is the demystification of mental health. Gone are the days mental health was labelled a “generational curse” only discussed in hushed tones and which required special exorcism. The era of locking up patients in dark rooms and feeding them through doors like caged animals is also gone.

These strides gained in the fight against the stigma associated with mental health, were widely acknowledged during the commemoration of World Mental Health Day forum organised by Crime Si Poa in partnership with Sarakasi Trust, Mental 360, NACADA, Kenya Red Cross, and varsity students among other stakeholders at the Sarakasi Dome, in Ngara, Nairobi.

The forum, preceded by mental health awareness walk in Nairobi, aimed at amplifying the voice of young people, on mental health challenges they are facing, possible remedies and avenues of available support.

Marking the international day themed “Making Mental Health a Global Priority,” Jacob Onyango from NACADA highlighted the adverse effects of drugs and substance abuse on mental health among the youth.

Issues of drug abuse are also issues of mental health. Drug abuse reduces psychological resistance, making it easier for individuals to give in to suicidal thoughts’’ said Onyango.

He encouraged young people to keep off drugs, noting that treating addiction is a costly and long drawn process. Onyango further called for increased psycho-social interventions, including establishment of more mental health facilities, to deal with the rising cases of mental health issues in Kenya 

Touching on mental health challenges facing varsity students including acute depression, occasioned by external stressors, Marcelyn Joel a student leader from JKUAT, stressed on the need for young people to take advantage of available psycho-social support services offered in learning institutions and like-minded organizations instead of taking extreme measures like suicide.

“Many students have difficulties in their academic journey. Though issues like poverty are family related, others like poor academic performance, peer and social media pressure, alcoholism, and drug abuse, are some of the stressors that affect their mental status negatively,” Marcelyn said.

Mental 360 CEO, Bright Shitemi, mentioned that although mental illness is more pronounced today than ever before due to the increased awareness of mental health issues as well as the increased pressures in life as our society progresses, more must be done.

Kenya is said to be lagging in awareness and treatment of mental health illnesses. Hence an increase in resources and awareness campaigns to build up support systems in the society is needed.

“Psychological support needs to be accompanied by economic empowerment. Most people dealing with mental issues also have economic challenges that inhibit them from accessing help contributing to the vicious cycle,” he said.

During the forum stakeholders urged the government to incorporate young people as well as survivors of mental health illnesses while developing policies that advocate for mental health. This is said to be a key demographic mostly ignored by the Ministry of Health Taskforce.

Martha Lee a consultant counselling psychologist from Crime Si Poa echoed sentiments from other speakers, adding that there was an urgent need for a holistic dimension in tackling mental health.

“1 out of 5 people experience mental health issues, depression and anxiety being the most common. We need to create more spaces for people dealing with mental issues,” lamented Martha, adding, “Positive associations in the environment such as a family keepsake, photos, or familiar objects can boost mood and a sense of connection.”   

She urged people to seek counselling as therapy can be beneficial for both the individual with mental illness as well as the other family members.

Crime Si Poa has since COVID-19 prioritized mental wellness as a core operational and programmatic issue with a fully-fledged wellness unit. The organization has also cascaded the same to all our activities in prisons, schools, and communities by creating awareness through psychoeducation and offering psychosocial counselling to the affected.

Youth Day

Young People Should Continue to Push for Inclusion in Leadership

By Fidel Castro

Crime Si Poa celebrates young leaders in Kenya as we mark International Youth Day, amidst ongoing vote tallying exercises after the conclusion of the country’s general elections. Youth representation availed during these general elections will help shift the paradigm that has been for years, where the older generation is perceived to “own” the political echelon.

The youth should be empowered, encouraged and supported to occupy more elective positions. Political systems should review their structures to allow youth representation, which is presently not the reality among most African nations. When young people are disenfranchised or disengaged from political processes, a significant portion of the population has little or no voice or influence in decisions that affect group members’ lives.

To make a difference in the longer term, it is essential that young people are engaged in formal political processes and have a say in formulating today’s and tomorrow’s politics. Inclusive political participation is not only a fundamental political and democratic right but also is crucial to building stable and peaceful societies as well as developing policies that respond to the specific needs of younger generations. Young people to be adequately represented in political institutions, processes, and decision-making, and in particular in elections, they must know their rights. Young people should also be given the necessary knowledge and capacity to participate in a meaningful way at all levels. As much as we are having intense debates on the empowerment of women to occupy both elective and appointive positions as buttressed by the Kenyan 2/3 gender rule, we should also see robust, deliberations to bridge the gap that is currently at play vis a vis national governance.

Kenya is a young nation with a fast-growing democracy where great embargos are scattered on the way to realizing this beautiful and inclusive end can be realized. In such an atmosphere where there are obstacles to participating in formal, institutionalized political processes, young people can rapidly feel disempoweredMany tend to believe that their voices are not going to be heard or they will not be taken seriously even if they are heard. This in turn leads to young people being increasingly excluded from taking part in decision-making, or in debates about key socio-economic and political issues. This is despite social equity, justice, environmental protection and cultural diversity demands. This, therefore, cuts short the process of achieving sustainable development goals.

However, throwing in the towel is not the solution, the young generation that forms a larger percentage of the nation’s population, should soldier and maximize the available opportunities to gather the required muscles to break through the web of political exclusion. Nations that we admire today walked through this path and achieved.

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Sexual and Gender-Based Violence So Pervasive in Kenya

Have you ever wondered how it feels like to be a girl or a woman in Kenya? Despite exceptional contributions to society, girls and women suffer non-equivalently. Gender and sexual-based violence is a problem that is rampant amongst us. The African culture endorses SGBV and ownership of the female gender. The African cultural nature has also made demands that women be submissive. 

Recently in Kisumu, Crime Si Poa (CSP) team dealt with a case of a 70-year-old retired teacher who was arrested after it was discovered that he has been defiling three 13-year-old girls. Lucy, one of the pupils was groomed and used by the culprit to lure the other two pupils to the house of the culprit where he defiled them.  

The man was caught when one of the pupils did not make it home that night. The worried mother, of the minor, went fetching for her in school the following day, where she found her. After interrogation by the mother and her teacher, the terrified student revealed that Lucy took them to the perpetrator, who defiled them. The matter was reported to the area police station, unfortunately, the culprit could not be detained since he “fell ill” and had been admitted to a hospital. 

As I author this article, the girls are being taken through counselling and the perpetrator is still sadly walking free. Let us face it, reporting SGBV cases is a subject that brings judgment and victimization to the victims. Society has taught us if a woman is assaulted it is their fault.  

The cycle continues, and before we even deal with the first case, another case yet of another 13-year-old girl Mitchelle Wanjeri, a class six pupil at Mwariki Primary School is unveiled, this time in Nakuru County. Wanjeri faced two attempted defilement incidences. In one of the henious incidents, the perpetrator (the alleged neighbour’s husband) tried forced penetration using fingers. 

Despite the matter being reported to the authorities and relevant government officials, no actions have been taken against the perpetrator. Her mother has been unsupportive even after several accounts of being summoned, she has refused to show up and an arrest warrant was issued to her for neglecting parental duties. The mother has since been missing in action prolonging the chance of getting Mitchell the justice deserved. Our efforts to get Mitchelle a rescue centre to protect her from the abusive environment have not bored any fruit.  

Sadly, Mitchelle lacked support documents, which include medical and police reports needed to be able to be admitted to the Clabrin Shelter a rescue centre based in Nakuru. Her mother interfered with previous reports claiming her child is a liar and a prostitute. Just like the other cases mentioned above, this case is still pending and stuck at the police.  

Gender-based violence creates unpredictability in young girls. Women and girls live at the mercy of sexual predators who treat them with disdain and subject them to unspeakable violence. This same society is quick to question even the innocence of children when it comes to the subject of gender-based violence.  

Some women are also partly to blame as they encourage and promote these archaic patriarchal ideologies as in the case of Mitchelle. Women have been degraded, gagged, humiliated, and stripped away of their dignity over time in such a way that they decide to suffer in silence. 

Society does not know how to take responsibility thus we shift the blame to the victims. Perhaps, she seduced the assailant, no, what she wore led to her being raped, she drank too much she deserved it, she is lying she just wants to cause trouble. “If she is beaten, she incited it, if she is raped, she invited it” Gloria Steinem 

For how long is society going to tolerate the way in which our young girls are abused, and their childhoods robbed from them? How long do we always have to wonder how high our girls can fly before the monsters and predators get to them and ruin their lives? 

Victims are always blamed by those who hold power in the community. Powerful perpetrators get to frame the narrative of violence by frustrating any efforts made to fight SGBV.  

It is time to sensitize society on violence against women and change the narrative on violence toward women. As a society, we have lost empathy and the spark that makes us human. We must start seeing the need of valuing and protecting one another.