Covid-19: Courts and Domestic Violence Cases in Kenya

By Ann Shikongigi

Advocate of the High Court of Kenya


The Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs has reported a 42 per cent increase in the number of domestic violence cases in Kenyan homes. This increase is partly due to the curfew and partial lockdowns imposed as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Being locked at home has made it a complete nightmare for victims to escape from abusers.

Measures taken to contain the rise in domestic violence cases during the current pandemic are grossly insufficient and portray the government’s apathy towards victims. Victims continue to suffer pain and suffering, actual bodily harm, emotional pain and agony, exposure to sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, early and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe and illegal abortions, stigma and trauma.

How long can the victims wait for justice to be served? There is an urgent need to address the issue of do