AK lauds 'Nation' for expose on GBV among athletes in Kenya

Domestic violence

In Kenya, over 40 per cent of women are likely to face SGBV during their lifetime.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The AK President said they are finalising the findings in conjunction with the Ministry of Sports, before it’s released to the public, complete with recommendations.
  • He said AK was taking bold steps to try and address the issues.

Athletics Kenya (AK) has lauded Nation Media Group for the expose published on Nation.Africa and Daily Nation newspaper on athletes’ abuse and exploitation.

Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei has urged athletes who are living in fear to report to the federation and record a statement with the police for further action.

This comes a day after Daily Nation ran an expose on the tribulations some athletes have been going through in the hands of their spouses.

The investigative piece, titled ‘Lusting Impressions,’ was published in a two-day series this week.

“This is what we mean by fruitful collaboration with the media as far as growing the sport of athletics is concerned. We are happy that there are athletes who are ready to talk about what they are going through, which will help us move forward in terms of addressing the issues,” said Tuwei.

AK had held forums with athletes in Ngong, Machakos, Chuka, Nyeri, Keringet, Bomet, Kisii, Nyahururu, Eldama Ravine, Kapsabet, Mount Elgon and Kaptagat in December.

“During the forums, a recurring cry from athletes who spoke at these meetings was sexual exploitation of athletes – especially the junior ones – GBV against male and female athletes, financial exploitation, drug/alcohol abuse and family/societal pressures,” he said.

The AK President said they are finalising the findings in conjunction with the Ministry of Sports, before it’s released to the public, complete with recommendations.

He said AK was taking bold steps to try and address the issues.

“As AK, we will not bury our heads in the sand and insist that dirty linen aired so far is non-existent. For instance, it is a reality that many athletes are victims of GBV at the hands of their spouses or even coaches and managers,” he said.

Just last month, Kenyan-born Bahraini athlete Damaris Muthee was found dead in Iten in an alleged case of domestic violence. Police said her suspected killer was her Ethiopian lover, also an athlete, who has since fled the country.

In October last year, 2015 World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop was found dead in her house in Iten with stab wounds to her neck. Her spouse, Ibrahim Rotich, is the main suspect in the murder.

Tuwei thanked the athletes who spoke to the Daily Nation, saying it is not easy for an abused person to open up.

“GBV is a criminal act and it is our hope that all the victims will receive justice for all the injustice they have undergone because we want to make the sport better,” he said.

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