Kenya Launches Campaign Against Child Abuse
July 27, 2006
Responding to a rash of media accounts of horrific mistreatment of children, including the story of a man who murdered his teenage nephew with a pitchfork because the boy had HIV, the Kenyan government today announced the launch of a new campaign to curb child abuse.
"Violence against children has reached totally unacceptable levels in Kenya," said Heimo Laakonen of UNICEF. "The level of sexual violence is especially shocking." When children are raped, he said, the perpetrator is a family member or close friend in 89 percent of cases.
Vice President Moody Awori set off the campaign by dispatching a bus that will travel Kenya to increase awareness in local communities. The effort seeks to raise 100 million Kenyan shillings ($1.36 million US) for programs to protect half-a-million women and children.
Many of the estimated 2 million Kenyan children orphaned by AIDS face discrimination, Awori said.
Lucy Kiama, program manager at the Gender Violence Recovery Center, said, "Most of the organizations can feed and treat children and offer shelter, but we do not have counselors trained to deal with the huge emotional scars left by physical abuse."
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.