Human rights crusaders and Community based organisations have been challenged to assist women of poor background facing gender based violence.
Nominated Mombasa County Assembly Member Fatuma Swaleh Moteh, famously known as Fatuma Kushe says there is increasing evidence that the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic has fuelled widespread violations of women’s rights, including elevated risks of domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV).
Ms Kushe addressed journalists at her Nyali home in Mombasa after rescuing a homeless young mother who was abused by her husband and thrown out of their matrimonial home.
She was languishing and sleeping in cold for 5 days with a 3 months old baby.
“I saw her outside the gate for two consecutive days. On the third day I approached her and asked her what her problem was, she narrated her ordeal,” said Kushe, who took her in.
She said the increase in GBV cases has been triggered by a decrease in the capacity of the justice sector to respond to the rights and needs of survivors.
Lucy Auma, 30 years old, with three kids, now a homeless says her life seemed to be a journey of going to hell and coming back on foot thanks to Ms Kushe who rescued her from jaws of misery.
According to Ms Auma, She has endured an abusive ‘marriage’ in Kidogo Basi slums in Nyali for 12 years but she cannot take it anymore from her husband Boniface Onyango, a Chang’aa distiller.
Auma says the last time which made her run away from her matrimonial house her husband had battered her where she lost one tooth and was being strangled together with her toddler baby girl.
“I am the one who has been fending for food, medication and rent while doing menial jobs. My husband just drinks all his money with other women around bars. He does not provide for us,” said a pained Auma.
[Mombasa MCA Fatuma Kushe (Right) with Lucy Auma. Photo/ Ahmed Omar].
When Ms Kushe took Lucy in she catered for her medical bills where she was treated at Coast general hospital and given a P3 medical examination report and later proceeded to report the assault case at Nyali police station but the culprit is yet to be arrested.
The MCA who ascribes the gender-based violence increase in Mombasa to the psychological problems brought by Covid-19 is now appealing to well-wishers to come to the rescue of the homeless mother by proving, food shelter and financial assistance.