BY KIPLANG’AT KIRUI
AT least four cases of sexual violence and abuse of children are reported every week in Narok county, children’s officer Julius Ngoko has said.
In most of the cases, guardians and relatives are the perpetrators, he said.
However, many defilements are still unreported, Ngoko said.
“Sexual abuse comes in so many ways that include female genital mutilation and forced early marriages, which are detrimental to the education of the girl child,” he said.
Ngoko spoke to the Star at his office in Narok on Monday.
The officer said girls as young as 10 years are forced to marry, which is a form of sexual abuse.
Defilement is more rampant in Narok South subcounty, Ngoko said.
“The community’s attitude towards the girl child contributes majorly to these cases because they still view the girl child as a source of wealth. This explains why we have a high rate of dropouts among girls in upper classes in primary schools,” he said.
The children’s officer said his office and other players have arrested those marrying off girls.
Some parents collude with suitors to make the girl pregnant, he said.
“This sort of arrangement is an attempt to justify the early marriages. Luckily, we are beating this one because we have still rescued child-mothers and taken them back to school,” Ngoko said.
He said rescue centres in the county accommodate the girls as further solutions are sought.
“We have centres such as Tasaru, House of Hope Rescue Centre, Osotua Girls and Siyapei Children’s Home, which have really been helpful in the protection of the rights of the girl child,” Ngoko said.
He said child neglect and abandonment have increased, which expose children to sexual abuse.f
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