Men defiling step-daughters to ‘punish’ their wives

Homa Bay County Sexual and Gender-based Violence Policy 2023 indicates that defilement prevalence in the county stands at 30.1 per cent. 

Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Homa Bay County is witnessing a rising trend on sexual offences cases involving minors.
  • Defilement prevalence in the county stands at 30.1 per cent against the national prevalence which is 7.1 per cent.
  • Most defilement suspects are close family members and close family friends.

The Children Services Department in Homa Bay County has raised a red flag over a rising trend of sexual offences cases involving minors.

According to Homa Bay County Sexual and Gender-based Violence Policy 2023, defilement prevalence in the county stands at 30.1 per cent. This is much higher than the national prevalence which is 7.1 per cent.

Most defilement suspects, the department says, are close family members to sexual offences survivors, some of whom sometimes fail to report their ordeal to protect the family image. Most cases handled by the department involve relatives or close family friends.


Homa Bay Children Services Officer Joseph Otieno and his counterpart from Ndhiwa John Kabasa, say they have also handled cases where step-fathers are accused of defiling their daughters.

The current economic situation has put strain in most relationships. During separation from their spouses, some men defile their stepdaughters to ‘punish’ their wives, says Mr Kabasa.

"Some teenage girls stay with their fathers when their mothers take off," he says, noting that the suspects commit the offence out of anger.

On May 25, a magistrate in Ndhiwa sentenced a man to life imprisonment for defiling his nine-year-old daughter.

The incident took place in his house in Koguta Location in Ndhiwa Sub-county.  Mr Kabasa says the man had separated from his wife.

Other cases involve family friends.

In the latest one that caught the attention of children officers in the county, is of a clergyman who is accused of defiling a 15-year-old girl during a prayer session in Gwassi South Ward.

The victim’s family had invited the cleric, on July 14, to pray for their daughter who was sick. He took advantage and defiled the Form Three student, who then reported the matter to her teacher the following day.

Drug abuse

Cases of victims reporting their ordeal days later have also become common across the county.

The Children Services Department also says drug abuse also leads men to defile minors.

"Once someone takes drugs, the substance controls his mind. We have had cases where suspects are reported to have a history of drug abuse," Mr Otieno explains.

Close relationships between family members also drives sexual offence on minors.

"This mainly happens when a relative is invited to live with a family. Some men take advantage of the trust that a teenager has on them to commit sexual offences," he says, calling for awareness campaigns on the effects of defilement, to stop the vice.

He emphasises the need for parental training on how to live with their children.

"Some parents are fond of failing to know the whereabouts of their children. This is a major concern because some teenagers walk to traps without the parents’ knowledge,” says the children officer.