M.D.T. is a 32-year-old Male, married for 6 years and has 2 children aged 6 and 3 years respectively. He lives with his family in (Soweto) area of Kibra. He was brought to GVRC Hurlingham on 2/1/2021 by a Community Health Volunteer (CHV) having sustained physical assault from his wife. MDT was first rescued by the neighbours who took him to SHOFCO, a CBO in Kibra, who provided first aid and then referred him to GVRC of Nairobi Women’s Hospital for psychosocial and medical management.
Society does not recognize that there are also vulnerable men in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), men who are not perpetrators but victims. The way violence against men is sometimes portrayed in the media is in the context of humor, so people may not understand women’s violence towards men. As a result, this has a negative impact on men seeking help due to fear that no-one will believe them or take them seriously.
At GVRC, MSE test was conducted by the counsellor and the results showed that the M.D.T. was depressed and very anxious. He was exhibiting low self-esteem and had wondering thoughts. He was taken through psychological first aid on relaxation techniques exercises since he was crying intermittently while sharing and using statements of self-blame and guilt. Counselor used Narrative exposure; where the M.D.T. was guided to recount the history of incidents of hurt and painful memories that he had undergone in that household. The counselor also used validation and normalcy therapeutic skills to help bring normal feelings to the survivor.
On medical examination, the survivor presented with visible puffy face, a black swollen eye, and cuts over his back. According to GVRC doctor’s report, the client had sustained 2nd degree tissue injuries because of physical assault. He was given anti tetanus injection and analgesics medication. The cut wounds were then cleaned, sutured, and bandaged.
M.D.T reported the incident to police and the wife had since been arrested, charged with physical assault and a police force restraining order put to stop her from any further abuse to the client. The client had also been offered a job as a foreman in Nairobi industrial area. He had no problem on upkeep of his children
From the survivors’ mouth
Initial quote: ‘’I am to blame because I was constantly on a state of high alert and anxiety, yet I never spoke out to anyone for fear that no person will believe me. I never knew there was help for men going through domestic violence situations like me’’.
‘’After going through the sessions, I have learnt to move on, and I am working on dealing with what has been disturbing me especially my low self-esteem and slowly moving on. It is a long and difficult process, but I know that from the process in counselling and pyscho-education on assertiveness I have hope there is light at the end of the tunnel. I will not allow her to ruin my future again’’. I would like to share with other men going through such experiences and give them hope that they can get help at GVRC’’. Thankfully,
M.D.T. was able to address the conditions of depression and anxiety that had developed because of physical IPV. After going through 6 therapy sessions, he reported that he was able to explore his feelings of anger, grief, frustration, and fear and low self-esteem He reported that he had finally picked up his ‘’broken self- pieces’’ and became assertive, made up his mind to move out of the abusive marriage, and looked happy.
In June 2021, GVRC and Refugee Consortium of Kenya- RCK held a medical legal clinic to address the challenges faced by survivors in accessing justice. Client MDT was among the participants. He was delighted to tell other survivors that GBV survivors at GVRC could access free legal services from GVRC legal partners.