Barriers to Help-seeking Faced by Women Survivors of Gender-based Violence in Kesses Sub-county, Uasin Gishu County, North-rift Kenya
This study sought to investigate the barriers to help seeking faced by women survivors of gender-based violence GBV) in Kesses Sub-County of Uasin Gishu County. The study sought to: determine whether women survivors of GBV in this Sub-County seek help; describe the patterns of help-seeking; and establish the challenges and barriers faced by women survivors of GBV in seeking help. This was a cross-sectional exploratory study, utilizing mainly qualitative methods of data collection to address the research questions. The study was guided by the psychological process theory, and utilized a sample size of fifty women survivors of GBV who were above eighteen years of age selected through the snowball sampling technique. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, case narratives, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. The collected data were transcribed, coded and analysed thematically in line with the specific study objectives. Study findings are presented in the form of narratives and verbatim quotations to amplify the informants‟ voices. The study found low reporting of GBV cases among the women survivors to the police but high preference for family members, local village elders and women groups in the local set up. Several barriers influence help seeking of women survivors of GBV, ranging from cultural believes, poor legal system and justice dispensations for the abused victims, economic deprivation of the abused, high stigma among abused women, and the frequent resort to local dispute resolution mechanisms. It is, therefore, recommended that the county government should facilitate and provide adequate holistic assistance and support to all women survivors of GVB, work towards addressing cultural norms and practices that encourage GBV against women, and enhance gender-sensitive structures for the reintegration of survivors as non-stigmatized members of society. The study also recommends sensitization of the judicial system, state agents and prosecuting agencies on appropriate handling of GBV cases against women survivors.
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