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Understanding Domestic Violence

A man hitting a woman Photo Courtesy
                                                     A man hitting a woman
                                              Photo Courtesy
What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence, also called battering, spouse abuse, family violence or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors in which an individual establishes and maintains power and control over another with whom he/she has an intimate, romantic, marital or family relationship. Abusers often use threats, intimidation, isolation, violent acts and other behaviors to establish and maintain power and control, which is the crux of domestic violence.
The following are common types of abuse that may be used sparingly and at discernible points of a relationship, or repeatedly and consistently throughout a relationship.

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Emotional/Psychological Abuse
  • Economic Abuse
  • Immigration Abuse
  • Marital Rape

Domestic violence occurs in the relationship where abusers and survivors know each other, and could happen both in adult and adolescent intimate or familial relationships. The abuser and survivor may be married, divorced, separated, cohabitating, have a child together, dating or simply part of the family. They may be heterosexual or homosexual. The relationship may be long-term or may have just started. Domestic violence can occur in any type of intimate partner or familial relationship. Domestic violence is a crime.

How do I know it’s domestic violence?
Does your partner ever:

  • Publicly shame you
  • Try to isolate you from others
  • Try to dominate you
  • Stalk or follow you
  • Threaten to kill or harm you, or someone you love
  • Threaten your pet
  • Intimidate you with weapons
  • Take your money or deny you financial resources
  • Threaten to take away your children
  • Deny or minimize abuse
  • Accuse you of being unfaithful
  • Threaten suicide to try to force you to do something?

Has your partner ever:

  • Bitten you
    • Punched you
    • Slapped you
    • Kicked you
    • Bitten you
    • Pulled your hair
    • Sexually assaulted you
    • Kidnapped you or held you hostage?
    • Profile of an abuser

      There are five key elements to an abuser:

      • Entitlement thinking
      • Avoidance of feelings of helplessness, fear and powerlessness
      • Denial about the impact his behavior has on himself and others
      • Benefits from institutional and cultural forms of inequality
      • Potentially aggravating factors: substance abuse, mental illness
      What is the Cycle of Violence?
      • Men who have witnessed their parents’ domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own wives compared to children of non violent parents
      • Girls who have witnessed domestic violence are more likely to stay in an abusive relationship as an adult.
      • More than 50% of batterers also abuse their children or their victim’s children.
      How Prevelant is Domestic Violence?
      • Nearly one in three adult women experience at least one physical assault by a partner during adulthood.  ( Bureau of Justice Statistical Report- Violence Against Women – 1995)
      • 30% of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Costs of Intimate Partner Violence – 2003)
      • It is estimated that domestic violence costs more than $900 million a year due to lower productivity, staff turnover, and absenteeism and an additional $900 million in earnings lost by victims of intimate partner violence. Centers for Disease Control Costs of Intimate Partner Violence 2003)
      • Of those victimized by an intimate partner, 85% are women and 15% are men. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence and Age of Victim, 1993-1999, (2001) ).
      • Abused women are twice as likely as non-abused women to have poor health and physical and mental problems, even if the violence occurred years before. (World Health Organization- WHO Multi County Study on Women’s Health 2005)

      NOTE:This information is from S.A.F.E House website.


What is the right time to put your feet down and declare enough is enough.

How much statistics does one need before action is done,how many souls should be lost,hearts broken,bodies defiled,children losing their innocence,parents being thoroughly broken by these acts before we put a stop to it?

Just like the rising insecurity,cases of sexual violence is also coming in faster than Rudisha’s 800m dash.

A whatsapp image of female students under punishment

Young women have been raped in full view of their parents and relatives,children defiled as their parents watch helplessly their young innocent eyes looking at them,pleading with them to take away their misery,the mother cannot take it and looks away,the rapist hits her ordering her to watch,the girls eyes change with each ordeal…..

At what point do we stop this?

The young lady seated at a bus travelling at night. She is placed to this man,a father figure…she feels safe until the journey starts and people start dozing off. The man,the father figure starts caressing her young breasts…she is scared but she gathers courage to change seats. She never says a word about her situation. She is violated,she feels dirty but she is too ashamed to share it. The man smiles at her at the end of the journey as hr alights.

How should she stop this?

Our sweet lovely sons are not to be spared,they are sodomised and sexually molested. They are not well equipped to handle this kind of thing.

The old foreign guy carries him on his shoulder,he laughs happily,they are going for a treat. The come out of a supermarket and he is happily bouncing his new ball,the guy has another polythene bag full of other toys.

The young boy can not wait to get home,he is going to be the envy of the estate boys.

He gets back to the estate some hours later but he cannot walk well,he is in so much pain he cannot play with the ball,he cannot sit so he leans on a fence and watch his mates play,he fiddles his toy car feeling confused.
A few people get to know of this and liase for the arrest of the foreigner,a few days later he is a free man with another young boy holding his hand,swinging and jumping playfully,oblivious to what awaits him.

Who will protect this boy?

She goes missing. She was sent to the shop just a few metres from the house,10minutes tops and she should be back in the house. She is found the next morning at a house under construction bleeding,naked,cold,scared she had cried herself to sleep. She has to be rushed to hospital and face a myriad or reconstructive surgery as she was very damaged.

How safe are they?

She has a reproductive health issue and rushes to see her doctor. Examination…..but instead of the doc putting on a glove as required he washes his hand and puts it inside her vagina…she is uncomfortable…she looks away avoiding the docs direct look in her eyes…his finger stays there for a bit longer than usual,she fidgets,uneasy…he smiles telling her to calm down,he is done…he goes to the bathroom. She quickly dresses.
Her friend tells her she is lucky,did you see what the other ‘doc’ did to that unconscious woman?

Is she really lucky?

Are you safe?Do you feel your loved ones are?
Will you do it first?

Who impregnates school going girls in Muhoroni?

Sugarcane Labourers blamed for impregnating school girls in Muhoroni constituency

Muhoroni mixed students during a girl to girl talk Muhoroni mixed students during a girl to girl talk

Sex before marriage is a sin punishable by death. She who abstains is the deserving and accepted woman in the society…

This is the gospel at least all girls grow up not only listening to but also trying so hard to abide by.

Without a doubt, abstinence is the best message to preach to young people but we are burying our heads in the sand assuming this message is consumed and practiced wholesomely.

In Muhoroni Mixed Secondary school, the head teacher is one sad man since he cannot stand seeing his girls one by one drop out of school as a result of pregnancy and his boys suffering from STIs.

Since the abstinence gospel has not been adhered to, he has taken measures to combat the increasing teenage pregnancies. First, the girls and boys learn in different rooms despite being in…

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Disabled Women in Kenya Vulnerable to Sexual abuse due to weak laws

justiceShe wears a shy demeanour and does not speak much. Janet* Atieno, has been epileptic since birth, and lives with her grandmother and two of her children In Kanyairo village about 20 km from Siaya town.

The grandmother, a peasant farmer, is the breadwinner to both Janet* and the children. The 27 year old was orphaned at a young age and even though she is able to read and write her comprehension of facts is questionable. Her grandmother says that her metal capability seems to deteriorate as time goes by.

Janet* has had two births yet no man has claimed responsibility for the children laments her grandmother. Some of the men Janet* mention to be the fathers of her children are decent members of the society and have all denied responsibility.

One is a school principal to a secondary school in the village.

“I think some men take advantage of…

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Girl beaten for reporting her defilement

Check it out,seems to say the little one Photo :
Check it out,seems to say the little one
Photo :

HOMA BAY: A class six girl is receiving medical care at Homa Bay County Referral Hospital after she was attacked by her fellow pupils for allegedly causing interdiction of her former head teacher.

The minor sustained serious injuries on the head and right hand after she was beaten with thorn tree branches on her way to school on Monday in Ndhiwa sub-county. The wounded girl said the pupils attacked her for reporting her head teacher who she said had been molesting her sexually.

The head teacher was interdicted last Thursday after it was established that he had been sexually abusing the girl while she was a student at his school. The girl’s mother told The Standard she was forced to transfer her daughter to a neighbouring school after it was determined that the teacher was harassing the minor and it was at this new school where she was attacked.

“My daughters tribulations stem from the fact that she spoke up against the head teacher. I am now calling on security personnel to intervene and accord her justice,” she said. A paralegal worker, Millie Adhiambo, who exposed the incident recorded a statement with police saying the head teacher had threatened to burn her home for causing his interdiction. Ndhiwa OCPD Nixon Makokha said they are investigating the matter.

“I have summoned the headteacher to my office to enable us get accurate information concerning these allegations,” Makokha said.

Meanwhile, an 11-year-old minor is seeking justice after a 58-year-old teacher allegedly defiled her on her way from school, in a bush few kilometres from school. The teacher admitted before Migori police that he committed the offence on Friday evening when the minor was getting back home from school.

According to the girl’s father, his daughter came home in the evening with her uniform stained with blood and when asked to explain she said she had been defiled by the teacher in a bush next to her school. The minor also told The Standard that the teacher had been giving her money to buy food and other drinks in school and on that fateful day, he took her far from the school compound where he committed the heinous act.

The parents took her to hospital and a medical examination revealed that the had been defiled and she also sustained injuries in her private parts. The teacher was remanded for a few days at Migori Police Station awaiting a court hearing. However, to the parents’ utter shock, the man was granted police bond of Sh 50,000 and was released without being taken to court.

They immediately moved to court claiming police had been compromised by the suspect. “We cannot explain the circumstances under which the suspect was released because we expected him to be arraigned in court. Police decided to grant him bond without giving us any explanations but we remain unmoved. We will continue to pursue justice and ensure the suspect faces the law,” the father said.

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