It is saddening that the number of cases of torture and death of children is rapidly increasing in Kenya.
Such cases were recently reported in Kisii County. On December 21, a three-year-old boy reportedly had his eyes gouged out mysteriously in Ikurume Village.
Weeks later, a man from Kiobegi Bobasi was reported to have beheaded his two children and dumped their bodies on the family farm.
Kenya’s children have been subjected to several risks—such as kidnappings, gouging out of eyes, early deaths, rape and brutal punishment by parents or guardians. The rate at which children are being tortured has hugely increased, with their security no longer guaranteed.
According to Unicef, some 15 million adolescent girls aged 15-19 have suffered forced sex in their lifetime; about 10 per cent of the world’s children are not legally protected from corporal punishment; more than one in three students aged 13-15 experience bullying; one in four children under five, or 176 million, live with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence; and roughly three in four children aged two to four, around 300 million, are regularly subjected to violent discipline by their caregivers.
Can lead to death
No matter the form of violence or torture a child encounters, its effects can lead to serious and lifelong consequences—such as physical injury, depression, anxiety, sexually transmitted infection, unplanned pregnancy, suicidal thoughts and impaired brain development, and can also lead to the death of the child.
It is the responsibility of the government and the public to protect children from extreme torture, which, sometimes, leads to death.
It’s high time we united in protecting our children from punitive and careless predators by raising public awareness of violence against children and how to prevent and report it.
Mr Obegi is a linguistics, media and communication student at Rongo University. [email protected].