Just as with other stories revolving around gender-based violence, this narrative was also tear-jerking. The woman tearfully narrated to KTN’s Najma Ismael how her marriage of twenty years had been turned into a battlefield. The videos showed her swollen head and a scar that was evidence of a recent operation after a, particularly bad beating.
As she narrated her story, it became apparent that she stayed in an abusive marriage because she did not have money to move on. Her husband had locked up her shop and she came from a humble background which means she was stuck there for the rest of her life which by the look of things was going to be a very short one if things don’t change.
Not having money and, therefore, no leg to stand on is one of the main reasons why women get stuck in violent relationships.
There are few safe houses that are trying to fill the gap and stand up for women who have suffered domestic violence from their spouses. As much as they are trying to handle the many cases they come across, it is evident that we need more safe houses for victims of gender-based violence.
Domestic violence occurs everywhere in the country and it will be better if we had one in every county. This will ensure that the women went about their lives seamlessly after a traumatic experience. Having a full-funded safe house in every county will help to decongest the few safe houses that are having to deal with the ever-surging numbers of victims of physical abuse.
At the moment here are the few safe houses we have in Kenya,
1. Women’s Centre
The Women’s Centre is a home that offers help to women suffering from abuse. With only a capacity of 20 women, the establishment is operating against a backdrop of 4000 reported cases in Nairobi annually. The center, which is under Hope Centre House in Karen, offers protection, psychological support, and healing space to the women and girls under their care.
Telephone: + 254 – 20 – 2437871
Mobile line: + 254 – 721242711
Location: Karen, Nairobi
2. Amani Home in Eldoret
The Amani home in Eldoret started in 2006 as a refuge center for women from AMPATH clinics who had been thrown out by their husbands after revealing their HIV status. The home cares for about 20 women every year. Since some women come with their children, the center houses about 20 children during the year. Women and children receive HIV care at the home as well.
3. Women’s Rescue Center Program in Nairobi, Kenya
The Women Rescue Center Program is located in Wangige in Nairobi. The home caters to approximately 20-25 young women aged 12-24 years. These women are in the rescue center for various reasons including sexual assault, being sent to work too young or being found on the street.
The home offers a safe and happy place for the women to heal and develop and aims to teach them skills to enable them to support themselves in their future. Some of the girls leave the compound for school while others are in the compound at all times for their own safety. At the school, there are also helpful programs such as tailoring, hairdressing, gardening, cooking, cleaning etc.
Location: Wangige, Nairobi
4. Heshima Kenya
Heshima Kenya is a Safe House Program is a transitional shelter that offers protection and recovery to unaccompanied and separated refugee girls under 18 years old and their children. The program is sheltered under Children’s Charitable Institution (CCI) under the Kenyan Children’s Department.
About 50% of Heshima’s Safe House Program residents have their own children. At the center, young women get intensive case management support, including counseling, material support, medical and legal support, family tracing, and life skill classes about HIV prevention, conflict prevention, child care, and other life-skills.
Kenya Operations Office:
P.O. Box 63192-00619
Office Phone: (254) 731 769 094
5. Shelter of Hope
The Shelter of Hope Centre (SOHC) was established in 2005 in small beginnings with a vision shared by both Ishmael Ochieng Okuku and his wife Moline Adhiambo Ochieng. The centre deals with children and youths who are orphans and destitute by providing spiritual confidence to enable them to be part of the achievement in the society.
Additionally, it has initiated programs to cater for women through empowerment strategies and support to the elderly widows.
Buru Buru Business Complex, next to Kenya National Library, 2nd Flr, Rm 32
Phone: (+254) 20 266 4664
Phone: (+254) 725 830 020
Mail: P.O.Box: 9277 – 00200 Nairobi