Survey: Violence Against Children in Kenya Findings from a 2010 Survey

Kenya implemented the Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) in 2010, and released its report and action plan in November 2012. In addition to the standard VACS questions, Kenya included tailored questions to see whether violence occurred as a result of the national elections in 2008 and added additional questions on child vulnerability.

In 2014, the Government of Kenya and the Together for Girls partnership released of the first Violence Against Children Survey public use dataset.

The findings of the Kenya survey indicate:

  • During childhood 32 percent of females and 18 percent of males experienced sexual violence; 66 percent of females and 73 percent of males experienced physical violence; and 26 percent of females and 32 percent of males experienced emotional violence
  • For females and males the most common perpetrators of sexual violence were boyfriends, girlfriends or romantic partners, followed by neighbors. Mothers and fathers were the most common perpetrators of physical violence by family members, parents or adult relatives
  • 1 in 3 young women who experienced pressured or physically forced sex reported a resultant pregnancy

Response: Summary Findings and Response Plan: Violence Against Children in Kenya Findings from a 2010 Survey

Kenya launched its VAC report in 2012. Since the release of the plan, actions taken in Kenya include:

  • Provided in-service training for social welfare officers, which will incorporate a newly developed module on prevention of violence against children and responding to cases of abuse.
  • Opened four child protection centers, with a strong outreach program supported by UNICEF.
  • Integrated a CDC Kenya sexual violence prevention module in a behavioral intervention program for youth, and refined a similar module for parents of young children.
  • National VAC communication and advocacy strategy is under development.
  • In addition, Together for Girls is supporting Lwala Community Alliance’s mentorship program for girls that have or are at risk of dropping out of school. The program, called Salama Pamoja (Safety Together) provides life skills and education about issues, such as early marriage and gender-based violence. In 2013 the program reached 57 out-of-school girls and 36 at-risk, in-school girls. The program is entering its second year, with plans to scale up. Click here to link to Vimeo video.


Government: Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services, the Department of Children’s Services, the National Council for Children’s Services, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and the Police Commission

Non-Government: Lwala Community Alliance; Nairobi’s Women’s Hospital; Save the Children; Child Rights Advisory, Documentation and Legal Center (the Cradle); and African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN)

Bilateral and Multilateral Organizations: UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDS, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Division of Violence Prevention (CDC/DVP), USAID

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