Gender-Based Violence Rescue Centres in Kenya
Sexual and gender-based violence has been a critical issue in the country in recent times, owing to a rise in mental health issues such as depression. These issues have been largely attributed to covid induced disruptions such as loss of jobs and the high cost of living. Sadly, women and girls have been the collateral damage of these stresses, especially due to retrogressive beliefs against women and girls that deprive them of their dignity and safety.
Despite this, various organizations have set up rescue centres as a safe haven for GBV victims as well as centres for awareness creation and attitude change, with the end goal of eliminating the vice for good. The centres highlighted below also engage the victims in empowerment programs to improve themselves and to speed up the recovery process in all facets of life.
Gender Violence and Recovery Centre.
The Nairobi Women’s Hospital is known for quality healthcare provision especially to women and girls, and so the Gender Violence and Recovery Centre is an addition to its core competence of health provision, but with a focus on victims of gender-based violence. Beyond shelter and physical protection from harm, the Centre is also keen on psychosocial support and awareness to the community on gender violence, a key step in causing attitude and behaviour change against gender-based violence. It has also been involved in providing training against GBV to various parties such as corporates members of the disciplined forces and the Judiciary.
The Gender Violence Recovery Centre helpline number is +254709667000 or +254719638006
Tumaini Girls Rescue Centre
Located in Meru County, Tumaini Girls Rescue Centre facilitates the protection, rehabilitation and reintegration of girls who may have experienced or face danger of sexual violence, physical or psychological abuse, while guiding them spiritually with Christian values. The Centre also collaborates with other community home shelters and acts as a referral point and a collaborative centre especially in providing shelter for boys in distress. It has an in-house resident capacity of 60 girls with the potential to support 300 boys and girls under its community program.
Tumaini Girls Rescue Centre helpline number is +254724370653
Wangu Kanja Foundation
The Foundation was born after its founder, Wangu Kanja, went through a gruesome sexual and physically violent experience 20 years ago. As was the case at the time, the society castigated her and this brought out the need in her to set up a place where sexual violence victims can seek solace after the experience. Apart from awareness creation, the centre provides medical aid, psychosocial and legal support, in addition to financial empowerment to survivors.
Wangu Kanja Foundation helpline number is +254722790404
SOLWODI (Solidarity with Women in Distress) Mombasa
Unlike other gender-based violence rescue centres, Solwodi is focused on rescuing girls who turn to commercial sex trade due to poverty or who are traded in the barbaric human trafficking business for sexual exploitation. They also help victims of forced marriages and other violent or exploitative situations. Also domiciled under Solwodi is SOLWOGIDI, (Solidarity with Women and Girls in Distress) for educational and financial support, through income generating activities.
SOLWODI helpline number is +254739422422
Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF’s Lavender House Clinic- Mathare, Nairobi)
Run by the MSF (Doctors without Borders) Lavender House Clinic is a rescue centre for victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Mathare Nairobi County. Owing to prolonged social and economic segregation, sexual and gender-based violence is prevalent in slums and other low income earning areas such as Mathare hence the need for the Clinic. The clinic offers medical and psychosocial support to the victims, as gender violence may also result in mental health issues if left unattended.
Lavender House Clinic Contact 020 2400330
Rescue Dada Centre (Ngara, Nairobi).
Rescue Dada Centre is rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration centre for girls who have been living in the streets either due to poverty or dysfunctional families at home. The Centres mission is to transform ‘street connected girls’ to productive individuals either through education or economic empowerment to minimize the chances and possibilities of them going back to the streets. The centre also empowers vulnerable caregivers of formerly street connected girls for them to get out of poverty and be at a position to comfortably provide for the girls and eliminate the need to go back to the streets.
Rescue Dada Centre contact: 0725 694 624
Healthcare Assistance Kenya
Healthcare Assistance Kenya (HAK) is a fast response sexual and gender-based violence emergency helpline, a first of its kind and the only one in the country. HAK works by referring SGBV survivors to emergency service providers to prevent the infection of sexually transmitted diseases after an ordeal. Privacy and confidentiality between the victim and the helpline is maintained through an SMS based communication platform, or by dialing 1195 after an incident.
Healthcare Assistance Kenya (HAK) Helpline numbers 1195 or +254 705208065 or +254733738626