GSN launched its first impact report “Growing Connection, Resiliency and Agency: The impact of community-led trauma-informed peacebuilding in response to violent extremism in Kenya” at the second annual Paris Peace Forum (12 November 2019).

ELEVEN BULLETS

They were fighting, again, and it was tiring. It happened every evening like clockwork. As soon as the husband arrived home from work, a fight was sure to ensue between him and his wife. Shouts and screams would fill the air after whoever was winning that particular day managed to pin his/her partner to the ground. Sometimes the man won but more often than not, his tall and muscular wife carried the day.

Having your wife routinely beat you up is not something easy to live with. This is made worse when you are a police officer and your colleagues are your neighbours. Inevitable, when your daily wrestling match is played out, the outcome is well known throughout the camp and you have to walk around knowing that everyone is talking about you.

We should therefore not have been surprised by his action. In all fairness, we really should have seen it coming. What surprised us was the vehemence with which he carried it out. He left his post, calmly walked home and shot his wife not once, not twice, not thrice but eleven times in the head almost as if he had to make sure beyond any doubt that in fact and indeed his wife was dead.

I wish I had attended the Wellbeing and Resilience sessions that I’m now undergoing before this tragic event happened. I would have been in a position to identify that my colleague and his wife were undergoing tremendous stress and trauma. I would have been in a position to provide counselling for my colleague or referred him to someone who would have been in a position to help him. If someone had intervened in good time, a tragedy would have been averted, a life saved, and a career salvaged.

Now that I have the knowledge and information, I can’t wait to get back to the station and serve my colleagues. I look forward to a future when families of members of the Police Service will be wholesome, functional and thriving.

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