In the relentless battle against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), collaboration between governmental bodies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) becomes paramount.
Particularly, the establishment and reinforcement of Child Protection Units (CPUs) within police stations emerge as a crucial strategy to curb the widespread SGBV against children in counties grappling with this pervasive issue.
One compelling reason for government involvement in this joint effort is the disturbing revelation that a considerable portion of SGBV acts against children is perpetrated by their own relatives.
Shockingly, some family members often resort to clandestine measures, such as kangaroo courts, to shield their own from facing the legal consequences of their actions.
This alarming trend has been substantiated by data gleaned from a CPU initiated by the Catholic Medical Missions Board Kenya through their ‘Breaking The Silence’ Program at Yala Police Station.
A closer examination of this data unravels the unsettling reality that familial ties often serve as a shield for perpetrators within the confines of their homes.
However, the establishment of CPUs brings forth a multifaceted approach to tackle this menace.
Role of Child Protection Units in Fighting SGBV
To begin with, CPUs act as specialized units within police stations, equipped with the necessary expertise to handle cases involving child victims of SGBV.
Trained personnel within CPUs are adept at creating a safe and conducive environment for children to share their traumatic experiences.
As such, this specialized care ensures that the intricacies of child-centric cases are handled with the sensitivity they demand.
Secondly, CPUs streamline the investigative process. Child Protection Units are equipped with professionals who understand the unique dynamics of SGBV cases involving minors.
This nuanced understanding enables a more effective and empathetic investigation, facilitating the pursuit of justice for the victims.
It also ensures that the legal proceedings do not inadvertently compound the trauma experienced by the children as they are rescued from perpetrators to a place of safety.
CPUs in Police Stations
Furthermore, the increased presence of CPUs within police stations serves as a deterrent to potential perpetrators.
The knowledge that specialized units are vigilant and committed to addressing SGBV against children creates a formidable barrier against such heinous acts.
This proactive stance sends a powerful message to communities, discouraging any attempts to cover up or normalize such atrocities.
In conclusion, the synergy between the government and NGOs in establishing and fortifying Child Protection Units within police stations emerges as a vital strategy in the battle against SGBV.
The disturbing revelation of familial involvement in SGBV acts necessitates a specialized approach, and CPUs offer a comprehensive solution.
As such, by enhancing the investigative process, providing specialized care, and acting as a deterrent, CPUs become instrumental in safeguarding the most vulnerable members of our society—our children.
The writer, Roy Mwangi is a Freelance journalist and communication specialist. He can be reached at Mwangiroy679@gmail.com.