How to report crime in Kenya or navigating Police procedures
FIRST I HAVE TO GRIPE- WHY ISN’T THERE AN ONLINE SUPPORT SERVICE FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE?
I don’t know how Kenya can say it is serious about dealing with the vice when its the no. 1 crime affecting over 80% of women, yet it’s virtually impossible to find out where to get help, or how to report an incident of domestic abuse.
Here’s what I know about what to do- let me know what you think as I’d love to produce a poster and plaster a checklist on every single police station in Kenya
1. CALL THE POLICE 999 (landline) 112 (Cell)
You can try to call the police Kenya Police emergency no is 999 (landline) or 112 (mobile phone).
PUT THESE NUMBERS IN YOUR CELL NOW
You can also try your local station – Kenya Police Stations Hotlines are listed here
2. REPORT AT NEAREST POLICE STATION OR SUB STATION/COMMUNITY STATION
When you get there tell them you want to report a crime.
I’ve no idea if the Gender Desk or Childrens Desks actually work but generally you go to the one guy who has the OB or Observation Book. He gives your case a number, asks you a few questions and you should keep a receipt of that report.
The officer taking your report will not volunteer information – you have to ask. These guys are qualified but if you are confused ask to see the OCS (Officer in Charge of Station – who generally is quite professional)
Well if you’ve been injured you need a P3 form from the Police station – you can download P3 Forms and Abstract Forms from the Police website here in advance
LOSS OF PROPERTY
Note The Abstract form is issued by the Police whenever a person reports loss of property.
It is filled giving details of the lost property. The Officer Commanding Police Station(OCS), must sign and rubber-stamp the filled form and an official receipt issued.
NB. Once this form is filled,it must be taken to the nearest Police Station for necessary assistance.
IN THE CASE OF PERSONAL INJURY
You must get the P3 Form – the Medical Examination Report
The Kenya Police Medical Examination form, popularly known as P3, is provided free of charge at our police stations. It is used to request for medical examination by a Medical Officer of Health, in order to determine the nature and extent of bodily injury sustained by a complainant(s) in assault cases.
Part I of the form must be filled by the Police Officer requesting medical examination.
Part II must befilled by a Medical Officer or Practitioner carrying out the examination giving medical details.
Section B of this form should be completed in all cases of assault, including sexual while section C is completed in cases alleged sexual offeces ony.
This form is a government document and must be returned to the police for use in adducing evidence in court.
Once the P3 form is filled in at the police station, the complainant is escorted by a police officer to a medical officer or practitioner for examination.
The form becomes an exhibit once produced in court.
MAKE A STATEMENT
Accompanying your initial Abstract should be a full statement from you of what happened. This can be done later the same day or next day AT THE POLICE STATION
Any abuse, injury or damage to property is a criminal case. It is different from a civil case (but you can also pursue a civil case in parallel – I’m not a lawyer but would appreciate guidance on this).
If you need someone to be arrested you must tell the police immediately. Kenyan law classifies any assault, injury or damage to property as violation of the penal code.
The police will arrest the offender and charge them, hold them til processed (finger prints etc), set a bail if it’s a bailable offense, is and give them a date in court usually within 2 weeks. From what I’ve been told, the Government prosecutor will take charge in criminal cases. Ie. the Victim is represented by Govt Prosecutor. The person charged gets to plead, after which there’s a mention then a hearing.
Having someone charged for domestic abuse is a process and no wonder most women drop or don’t bother to even report domestic abuse cases.
(BTW I think we have a domestic abuse law in Kenya – it’s either assault or some other crime.)
And intoxication shall not constitute a defence to any criminal charge. Women or men who charge their spouses with domestic violence are actually charging them with Assault and there’s a 5 year jail sentence for that.
Most men know that women will not go so far as reporting the case – but the truth is that once it’s reported you can drop it if you decide. If you don’t you have nothing but the possibility of further assault.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just walk away?
Forgetting about what it does to us, me, you or any victim, to our bodies, just think for a moment about what it does to our minds, our spirit and how it messes up our children, sisters, parents, friends for life to see us take the beatings.
Why you should report spouse abuse
- Having the incident on record in case it happens again in future
- You can use the case to leverage a mediated approach in exchange for dropping criminal charges which carry hefty penalties.
- Reduced probability of further abuses – Men don’t like having a record
- Doing what’s right for you and your kids/dependents family friends etc.
Disadvantages of reporting a spouse abuse case
- Dealing with the Police can be time consuming – these guys are experts in the runaround (most women drop cases which might explain why the police don’t take them seriously in the first place)
- Responsibility if the abuser goes to jail (most women are too kind to mean men)
- Ending a relationship – most people end relationships once it’s gotten so bad that police are involved. Some think it’s better to deal with problems before they become violent. You can get help and counseling (see below)
- Your case can become public – some people and especially relatives find this embarrassing and shameful
The Center for Gender Violence at Nairobi Womens Hospital in Hurlingham
Nairobi Place – for counseling and treatment of alcoholism and other substance abuse addictions
For men who are abused or who can’t get access to traditional help the SAFE website may provide options
For women, children and men – we need a site like Narika in Asia which is a volunteer run a help line that one can can call to find out what to do, get counseling, access information like where’s the closest shelter, share stories and generally get help.
You can download most Kenyan laws here
If you have any relevant resources to share leave a comment or tweet me @paulakahumbu
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