Withdrawal of cases, absconding suspects deny GBV victims justice
Withdrawal of cases and non-availability of those accused of committing Gender Based Violence (GBV) after paying bail and bond terms have been cited as the reasons why victims have not been able to get justice, a new report shows.
Consequently, the failure of complainants and their witnesses not showing up during court hearings due to intimidation by the perpetrator given that the culprits are people known to them and live in the same environment as well as out of court settlements between the accused and complainants kins have also contributed to the delays in justice being served.
The Performance Audit report on prevention and responses to GBV from the office of the Auditor General covering 2018 to 2022, reveals the perpetrators of GBV are people known to survivors with the leading cases being those of intimate partner at 11615 cases perpetrated by both males and females, parents (6860), relatives (1511), and neighbors (1120), unknown perpetrator (736), employer 135 and friend 96.
Reads the report: “The lack of government safe shelters where the complainants would be temporarily accommodated also left them exposed to threats and intimidation from the perpetrators.”
The audit noted that some judicial officers granted low bond and bail terms and as such the accused persons forfeited the bond, fled and failed to appear in court.
lt also raises concerns that some of the bond terms were as low as Sh 2,000 which were meagre for sexual offenses and thus the accused would easily pay so as to be released from custody and thus would not appear in subsequent court sessions.
Reads the report: “According to the Judiciary Bond and Bail Policy Guidelines, 2015, the judicial officers have the powers to impose appropriate bond and bail terms.