100 Kibera girls receive self-defense training to prevent sexual violence » Capital News
NAIROBI, Kenya, 18 October – Over 100 girls in Kibera have undergone self-defence training to protect themselves from sexual harassment and all forms of abuse as the world marks International Day of the Girl Child this month.
The training was offered by Freely in Hope in partnership with Ujamaa Africa supported by Impact Beyond Borders.
The move comes even as crime against women in Kibera is increasing day by day, with an increase in the number of rape and sexual assault cases.
Freely in Hope’s director of strategic growth, Trizah Gakwa, explained that self-defense training can reduce the number of rape incidents by 47%.
“This training will empower women and girls to use their voices and increase their body confidence as they use these powerful tools to protect themselves from sexual and physical abuse,” she said.
The intensive one-day course teaches the girls various techniques to protect themselves. It is designed to help women identify their risks and assess their strengths, and explore their options for coping with the threat of sexual violence using verbal and physical strategies.
By the end of the program, the girls have learned how to verbally respond to potential sexual threats, strike vulnerable areas, evade chokeholds and body grabs, and perform defense techniques.
“Teaching self-defense will equip women with the tools to identify and prevent violence against themselves and others, actively promoting peace one woman at a time,” said Chiraphone Khamphouvong, Founder and Visionary Developer, Impact Beyond Borders.
Kibera, located in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is the largest slum in Africa. About 250,000 Kenyans live in Kibera and the living conditions are not favorable. The most common living arrangement is a 12ft by 12ft cabin which usually houses up to 8 people. Women in Kibera face additional challenges as the country faces an ongoing problem of violence and sexual abuse.
According to a study by the University of Nairobi, 56% of 13-18 year olds in Kibera have experienced some form of sexual abuse. Additionally, this study also found that only 12% of sexual abuse victims actually reported their abuse.
“The perpetrators are people close to them, uncles, neighbors, dads, which is why they are afraid to speak. Over 90% of girls think it’s a man’s right to have sex with a woman, and that’s why this type of training is important to show them why it’s important to report these cases” said Nahima Abdullahi of Ujamaa Africa’s Nairobi County program. Coordinator.
According to a UNICEF report, one in ten girls worldwide is raped or sexually assaulted before the age of 19. Organizations like Freely in Hope, Ujamaa Africa and Impact Beyond Borders are working tirelessly to change this statistic.