Listening sessions is a tool that was develop after the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007. The tool was designed to facilitate listening sessions with empathy exercises to enlarge deeper understanding of an issue or problem of others, and give them help in solving these issues. It gives effective listening skills and help participants to open up from their frozen pain and past. It invites them to take an active part in the growth process and gives the participants permission to admit a need for help and to seek it appropriately. It is from this session that facilitators helped the participant to get help through our programs with include AVP, HROC, Mediation, Counseling and many others.
In the sessions we discovered that violence against women amidst this pandemic has been a violation of women’s human rights. Many forms of violence against women have been perpetrated by close family members and the community at large. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in early March, gender based violence has created many potential negative health consequences for women and their children. Violence against women in Mt Elgon has resulted in injuries and serious physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems, including sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and unplanned pregnancies. In extreme cases, violence against women has resulted in death. Coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, this have led to an exponential increase in GBV. Many women are in “lockdown” at home with their abusers while being cut off from normal social support services.