The Sexual Violence Response Network (SEVIR Network) – KENYA is an initiative of continuous system of assistance for women and girls in Kenya facing threats of or coping with the aftermath of sexual violence and abuse. With both in-house and referral services on legal aid, and trauma counselling services, the SEVIR Network is instrumental in building capacities of both systems and people on dealing with incidences of sexual violence and abuse in a more real-time and independent manner for continuity/sustainability purposes.

Through this Network, the objectives of curbing sexual violence against girls and women (primarily) is achieved having the following immediate impacts:

  • Improved awareness and capacity for documentation of sexual violence and abuse in Kenya, being a Human Rights violation issue;
  • Increasing access to justice for sexual violence and abuse victims through expanded access to and provision of legal services;
  • Improving capacity of community-based civil society organizations to assist target populations in accessing or protecting their full human rights.

Rationale

Sexual violence is a broad offence that in itself incorporates vices as rape-including marital rape-, defilement against minors and indecent assault meted on the victim. Its general nature is defined as a “violation of bodily integrity and sexual autonomy”.

Sexual violence and abuse against women and girls in Kenya is so serious that it affects infants of even between 0-11 months old, and becoming a known “culture” as perpetrators are as young as 14 years old of age. The issue of sexual violence against women and girls has been in Kenya for quite a long time, with an ever increasing trend.

The topmost reason for prevalence on sexual violence and abuse is that Kenyan courts have, generally, performed dismally in promoting and protecting the rights of women against sexual and related abuses mainly basing their finding on the fact that a less percentage of such cases actually get adjudicated in a judicial process.

Another important factor of the sexual violence and abuse incidences in Kenya is that In all these cases in general, our research findings note that most, if not all, perpetrators actually succeed in committing the sexual violence and abuse upon their victims thus ‘Attempted Rape’ is almost out of the question. This shows a trend of planning and forethought other than acts done on impulse as it is always assumed of sexual violence and abuse. For these reasons, the SEVIR Network will have two main focus:

  1. People; and
  2. Systems