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One in 10 Kenyan men beaten by wives

At least one in 10 Kenyan men has been physically or sexually assaulted by a wife or partner, according to a health survey released on Wednesday.

Men aged between 20 and 24 years (11.7 per cent) bore the brunt of the assaults and were closely followed by those between 40 and 49 years at 9.8 per cent.

Those between 30 and 39 years reported the fewest cases with only 7.1 per cent of the respondents saying they had been assaulted, the 2014 Kenya Demographic survey says.

Those in the middle income bracket reported the highest number of domestic violence cases at 11.6 per cent — or 496 men out of 2,890 interviewed. They were followed by those at the bottom of the income ladder (9.5 per cent).

Divorced, separated or widowed men reported the highest number of cases. They were followed by men who had been married more than once.

Only 7.1 per cent of those who were living with their spouses reported sexual or physical violence. Those who had been married only once had the lowest number of cases compared to those who had been married two or more times.


Men who had not completed primary education reported the highest cases of violence at nine per cent and were followed by those who had completed primary and secondary education at 8.6 and 8.7 per cent respectively.

Of those with secondary education and above, 1,150 men said they had sexual or physical violence from their partners at one point in their lives or in the 12 months before they were interviewed.

Men in Western, Nyanza, Nairobi and Rift Valley regions reported the highest levels of violence compared to their counterparts from other regions.

For instance, 655 men from the Rift Valley reported they had been beaten compared to only 42 in North Eastern, which had the fewest cases.

The respondents, both men and women, were asked whether their current or most recent spouse/partner ever physically harmed them by pushing, slapping, punching, kicking or trying to strangle or burn them or threatening them with a weapon.

They were also asked if their spouse/partner had ever physically forced them to have sexual intercourse or perform other sexual acts when they did not want to.

“Because of the sensitivity of these questions, if there was more than one eligible respondent in the household, the domestic violence section was administered to only one, randomly selected respondent,” the survey says.

When this happened, the respondent was questioned in the absence of the spouse and the information was treated with confidentiality.

Level of education

On the whole, more women than men said they were violently abused. About four in 10 women said they were physically or sexually violated by their husband or partner and about three said this took place in the 12 months before the survey.

Among those who were married at the time of the survey, both women and men who had married more than once were more likely to have been victims of violence than those who had been married only once.

Women and men with incomplete primary level of education were more likely to have been physically assaulted.

The survey further noted that sexual violence committed by a partner was not as prevalent as physical violence.

Among women, those aged between 30 and 49 years had experienced the highest number of cases either in their lifetime or in the last 12 months before the survey. Teenagers reported the fewest cases.