Children's Vulnerability to Sexual Violence During COVID-19 in Kenya: Recommendations for the Future

Front Glob Womens Health. 2021 Feb 24;2:630901. doi: 10.3389/fgwh.2021.630901. eCollection 2021.

Abstract

This article discusses the latest research that reveals that children seem to be facing new risks of sexual violence in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic. The evidence suggests there have been changes in patterns of sexual offenses against children coincident with lockdowns, curfews, and school closures. In particular, emerging evidence from Kenya suggests that child victims are younger, more likely to be victimized by a neighbor in a private residence, and in the daytime, compared to pre-pandemic. We conclude that situational crime prevention strategies that focus on providing alternative safe venues to reduce offending opportunities must be a central part of a public health approach to reduce children's vulnerability during crises such as COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; Kenya; offender versatility; public health approach; sexual violence against children; situational crime prevention.