Due to the increased cases of sexual and gender-based violence in this area including teenage pregnancies, rape and defilement, our organization’s objective on this activity was to ensure accountability for the crimes of sexual violence. We recognize that the patriarchal settings in families, churches and communities do not facilitate the accountability for sexual violence, rather stifles victims and therefore continues the cycle of violation. Therefore, in collaboration with feminist lawyers in Kisumu, and Feminists in Kenya’s Association of Feminist Lawyers, the Firms of OUYA AND OUYA Advocates and ODUMBE AND AYIETA Advocates, we provided free legal support to 30 survivors of gender-based and sexual violence. The support involved legal drafting, taking up individual cases, one on one session to maintain privacy and confidentiality, legal research and group sessions and talks on Children and the Law, Family Law, Succession, Rape and Defilement. The cases were carried forward by the various feminist lawyers and the Let Girls Learn Initiative is working with the law firms present to ensure that justice is served and the cases are followed through in courts. We noted the need to continue with the conversation on sexual violence in this community particularly with the leadership of the community to ensure that they support the girls and young women. We also noted that there is a lot of stigma from those who report incidences of sexual violence particularly against their family members who violate the children and girls in particular. We will continue our partnership with the association of feminist lawyers to ensure that they support individual cases of sexual violence. We also hope that we will make follow up with the girls and refer them to our community partners and counsellors to continue accessing support and counselling. We will remain engaged with the specific girls and ensure that they access the services and help us reach out to more girls.
There’s a shift in community mindset as regards SRHR and teenage pregnancy. A lot more people are reaching out to our organization to connect them with feminist lawyers especially in cases of defilement and rape and enquiring about contraceptives and abortion. This is significant because girls and teenagers in rural Kisumu now have a chance to report and speak about the increased cases of teenage pregnancies and sexual violence in the area. The need to establish girls clubs in the community was a direct request from the girls we reached. The clubs would support them in having conversations on teenage pregnancies, rape, defilement and contraceptives and support them in championing solutions within their communities themselves.
The heightened risks of sexual and reproductive health-related morbidity and mortality indeed reflects the limited capacity of adolescent girls to negotiate for sage sex and consent, prevent sexually transmitted diseases, lack of protection against sexual violence and lack of access to contraceptive information and services to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Your funding can support access to SRHR information for teenagers in rural Kisumu and allow them to access legal counsel and psycho-social support for their advancement.
- The firm of OUYA & OUYA ADVOCATES – Feminist Law firm in Nairobi that has taken up most of the cases and is supporting in following up cases in court.
- Feminists in Kenya- A social movement of feminist activists that amplify feminist discourse in Kenya. Supported our work through their Association of Feminist Lawyers.
- Young Women Campaign against AIDS- An organization advocating for persons living with AIDS. Mobilized women and teenagers for the convening.
- You Go Girl Initiative- CBO in Kisumu working to end period poverty. Supported by providing speakers on SRHR Odumbe and Ayieta Advocates- Law firm in Kisumu that mobilized lawyers for the legal Aid.
- Sustainable Rural Initiatives – An organization organizing for economic empowerment of women and girls in Kisumu.