Judicial Service Commission (JSC) members led by the presiding judge in Machakos high court George Odunga, on Wednesday March 4, 2020, engaged members of the public at Bungoma law courts, to sensitize on the matter of protection against domestic violence rules.
Domestic violence may result from abuse ranging from physical, economic and emotional, verbal or psychological abuse.
Judge Odunga noted that the present legislation does not provide for the protection before the offence is committed but the act now provides for the people to come to court for protection orders so that it can’t be waited until the act of violence is completed.
With the issue of domestic violence being rampant in most parts in the country, the discussion comes in to create a better platform where the victims can seek justice easily.
Judge Odunga issued out outlines on how the cases shall be handled.
He stated that such issues are supposed to be handled at the residents magistrates court and so people are advised whenever they need the services to report the matter to the police who will assist them to fill out a prescribed form 1 titled ‘information on domestic violence’.
The police will further be required to hand in the filled prescribed form to court within 24hours.
The victim can further apply for a protection order which is a court order in domestic violence case whose purpose is to safeguard or protect the victim once a case has been reported.
The protection order may consist in a prohibition, restraint, residence, custody, compensation or restitution.
A party dissatisfied by a protection order may apply to court for its variation or discharge.
Judge Odunga also advocated for settling of domestic matters at home noting that family matters involves children and it would be so important for reconciliation to be encouraged and for them to live harmoniously.
‘Our intention is not to break families but to ensure that families live in peace. It’s only that sometimes we have to issue protection orders while we are still determining the matters otherwise the act provides that where appropriate alternative dispute resolution mechanism like mediation has to be respected,” he said.