Child abuse can be defined as the physical maltreatment or sexual molestation of a child. In Kenya child abuse is sadly prevalent but largely unreported due to the fact that it is mostly carried out by family members or individuals who are known to the child. In some cases the abusers are the guardians of the child and the children keep quiet at the threat of being disowned or kicked out. Some cases of child abuse are even widely accepted by the society like having underage relatives come work for us in exchange for school fees which in the actual sense is child labour.
Childline Kenya is an NGO that works to stop child abuse and provide a safe environment for all children. They do this via an emergency toll free national helpline which is monitored 24 hours a day, the National Child Helpline is 116 and the Whatsapp number is 0799873107. One can also be able to chat with them on their site.
The Child Protection Report released by Childline presented data collected over a 10 year period, that is from 2006-2016. This report the first of its kind on child abuse in Kenya has some interesting insights. There have been 6,084,461 attempts to access the helpline, of these the received calls were 2,901,856 and dropped calls were 3,182,605. Of the received calls, 2,868,005 were children and individuals in need of counseling and information, 33,929 were child abuse cases. Of the 33,929 child abuse cases, there was child neglect (13,878), sexual abuse (7,832), physical abuse (7,317), child labour (3,123), emotional abuse (1,025) and child trafficking and abuse (528).
Child neglect and abandonment remains the most prevalent form of child abuse in Kenya with over 13,878 cases reported. This has been identified as the root cause of all other child abuse in Kenya. The Childline report indicates that 75% of this is perpetrated by immediate family members followed by parents 17% and extended family 8%. This abuse is in the form of prohibition from school, lack of medical attention and denial of food. Due to this, the child is open to other forms of abuse.
The fact that many people are unaware of the helpline means that many cases go unreported. This is more so in remote counties where abuse may be more rampant but goes unreported and usually surface in the form of a new report after a major incident. This explains why most of the calls were from Nairobi county where there is more awareness. Also, children need to be empowered on their rights and where to report should their rights be violated.
However, reporting on child abuse has seen a decline in the last four year due to technical issue brought about by an ageing system and Childline Kenya’s diminished ability to create awareness. This is where they need our help. One can help out by donating whatever you can afford to this worthy cause.
An individual can choose to donate an amount of Ksh. 116 to support the Helpline, Ksh. 500 to transport a child from a harmful environment, Ksh. 700 for meals and safe shelter for 1 child and Ksh. 2,000 for outpatient emergency medical assistant to 1 abused child.
For the corporates, they can donate Ksh. 25,000 for the full rescue of 1 child from a harmful environment, Ksh. 100,000 for inpatient medical support to 1 abused child, Ksh. 200,000 for quality counseling and emergency rescue for at least 8 children per month.
You can send your donations via;
Paybill number: 891300
Account number: 11124
Business Name: MCHANGA
Reference : 11124
Business number: 891300
Account number: 11134