Alarm over high domestic violence cases in Homa Bay

Homa Bay femicide

Residents torched the house of a suspect accused of murdering his sister-in-law over claims the deceased had a hand in the squabbles that led to his wife abandoning him. The man is on the run.

Hardly does a day pass without police officers from stations across Homa Bay County receiving reports of domestic violence.

Cases of gender-based violence (GBV), where one partner attacks the other, have been on the rise in the county and security officers are worried about the trend.

Spousal disputes mostly stem from rows over land and other properties.

County Commissioner Moses Lilan called on families to embrace peaceful dispute resolution mechanisms rather than resorting to violence. Some deaths from such disputes have been reported.

In the worst instances, people have been killed over issues that could have easily been resolved through negotiations.

Mr Lilan said three people have died so far in May in domestic violence.

"There is no crime that should warrant anyone to kill another person," the administrator said.

The latest incident involves a 31-year-old man who killed his 20-year-old sister-in-law in Kasima sub-location in Rachuonyo South over accusations that the woman had sent his wife away.

Machete attack

He attacked her with a machete, chopping her hand off.

The man was eventually arrested and charged.

Neighbours burned his house and were baying for his blood.

Mr Lian said that when conflict arises in families, aggrieved parties should look for better ways of addressing their grievances.

"There are many ways of resolving conflict and families should embrace peaceful ways," he said.

Besides injuries when couples fight, some people have committed suicide after disagreeing with their spouses.

Mr Lilan said the trend is also worrying, urging religious leaders and other community stakeholders to address the problems.

"Chiefs, their assistants and village elders can be of help to families that are having disputes. I call upon residents to seek their advice whenever there are problems within their setup," he said.