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Victimizing old women

Early last month, an 84 year –old widow was raped by a 25years known villager .The woman had made plans to attend church together with her acquaintance who lives some miles away .Fate befall when she mistakenly left home before dawn to join her friend .Just a mile away from her friends home, she meet her attacker,

A young man was on his way back home from his mischievous deeds .The innocent woman greeted the young man by name and even announced her mission to him. The man who responded friendly passed her then attacked from behind. He filled her mouth with objects of all kind to silence her, He raped her repeatedly and left her crying pain humiliation and disbelieve.

After a couple of minutes the woman composed herself and sluggishly walked to her friends’ home. She was later to discover her only tooth was gone. Uprooted by the objects the rapists filled in her mouth. Her narration left her friend shocked and embarrassed to give any immediate help, and instead tried all means to conceal the ordeal. By the time she realized the old woman needed urgent help, it was too late. The woman passed away while undergoing treatment at a local hospital.
The shocking news spread like bush fire .The young man was identified and arrested but his parents and family were quick to defend him. The father, a respected village elder termed it baseless and unjustified. With only the body of the victim and no witness, no one willed to pressure on the case. With only a week in custody the rapist was set free.

A couple of months later, the rapist struck again. A couple of women chat excitedly down the river to draw water. Little did they know their excitement was drawing attention to a dangerous man. The rapist, trailed them quietly and hide in a strategic place. He dint wait long as the women hurried back to attend other chores.
With heavy jerry cans behind their backs, they could only manage cat’s steps up the hilly route. Silently the rapist waited until the last woman passed. He followed her, when he felt safe, he covered her mouth and pulled her from behind. Immediately she laid her, she covered her mouth with soil and grass at a point; he used objects to squeeze in more.

All this happened so swift that the woman had no chance to raise an alarm, her friends only noticed her absence when it was already too late. The rapist had already accomplished his dreadful mission. Their voice of alarm though, attracted villagers from all over. The rapist was hunted and caught. The women and the villagers were so furious that they only answer the misery was to burn him to death.
Fortunately for him, the first people who laid hands on him were his first cousins. They saved his blood and called the police. The rapist was arrested but the villagers fear he will soon be let out cage to cause more predicaments.

This young man prefers to rape elderly women to young ones. The question to many is, ``why rape and torment elderly women”? Most likely to the rapist, these older women symbolize an authority figure over whom he wants control, his desire may not be for sex but for the degration , hurt and humiliation of the victim, most likely he get arousal from rage, nervous ,excitement or fear .This young man may also be a woman hater and get easier prey on elder women because of their vulnerability

These kinds of rape cases in the villages are many and unreported; the woman’s own embarrassment also makes it greatly under reported. Sense of shame takes over as she prefers silence to assistance. When I contacted some women for possible answers on under-reported rape cases, one responded, `` If you can’t tell your children that you are sleeping with their father, how then can you say that you’ve been raped? ‘’ at the same time the thought of fingers pointing at you as a rape victim is too painful to bear, she added.
These women require a lot of information and advice on how to handle this kind of sexual violence, this rarely happens as most NGO fighting to end women violence concentrate mostly on urban areas, leaving village dwellers to agonize through their torments alone.

The real shame is not the kind these women who have been raped feel, but the society’s ignorance, indifferent and assumption on the matter. The notion that sex with an old woman or child heals AIDS has raised crimes of this nature alarmingly. Days-old babies met torments too hurting for them to bear.
When a youth in Nyeri turned on her grand mother last week, the whole village went berserk .He was caught and burn a life. The old woman too shocked to speak just gave nods to our curious question. She was cold and frail. Looking around, there was a clear evidence of shock and fear in the atmosphere. An act too appalling and sickening to mention had just been done. No by a stranger, but by a person the woman knew loved and trusted most.

In hospital doctors tried hectically to save her life, but the ordeal was too much for the old woman to recover from. She passed away later. Old women, who have long forgotten about sex; suffer shock when this kind of ordeal come knocking their doors,.
As crimes raise, most people, amongst them the youth are quickly blaming job scarcity and idleness to their actions. But is it really justifiable to occupy own mind by hurting? As all this is happening, our government ears and full attention is all in who will lead who come 2012. Some youth likes of Jimmy Kibaki are busy fighting for notable places - with a new found slogan `roundi hii si mchezo’ .-as they leave the poor in trepidation of what tomorrow truly holds, as they ponder what roundi hii si mchezo truly means.
AS Kazi kwa vijana fills the air and received by the youth with excitement, all we crave for is a more sane nation with oneness and integrity.


Katie McDonald's picture


Hello Shiku,

Thank you for sharing this story with us, although it is disturbing, it is sadly not uncommon.

I think you are right, that elderly women are attacked simply because they are more vulnerable, making them easier targets.

As for under reporting of sexual violence, that is a problem faced everywhere.

Best wishes,


shiku steve's picture

How can we make it uncommon?

Dear Kate
One question linger my mind constantly.How can we make rape cases a history? a dreadful horror stories to be narrated to our youth as an example of a wel behaved era? When will our nation stop the moditude indifferent attitude of-that just another case-and all is forgoten untill the divils stuck again? isnt so sickening to hear rapist who have support from their families until the killer knife hit them? The question is when will everyone raise up against women violence.

Love Shiku

Katie McDonald's picture

One by one

Hello Shiku,

I think we really need to change the way societies value women. Things will only shift when there is a critical mass of people who find all forms of violence against women completely unacceptable. So I guess it is just about one person at a time - raising awareness that these things happen is a first important step...because people cannot care about something if they do not know it exists.

As for when we will achieve that critical mass, I don't know, but as long as we are actively speaking out on the matter, through forums like PulseWire, we are making progress towards this, and should not give up hope.


Dear Kate
I concur,awareness,yes.Awareness will definitly do.This, I believe, will touch men who we urgently need to address.Men,who will realize whatever they or fellow men do,affect not `just a woman' but women at large.Collectively,inclusive of their own blood.Men should therefore be on the fore front to fight rape,and constantly talk to suspected offenders.

As you said one by one ,we can successfuly win.As it is better to pick a step,regardless of its pace.No matter how slow we move,we should never give up.We will reach our aim as long as we do not stop.

Cheers Katie nad keep in touch!

Love Shiku

Nusrat Ara's picture

it is really disturbing. Why

it is really disturbing. Why are women always on the receiving end.


shiku steve's picture

We need to act and fast!

Its good that we know we are always on the receving end,but its sad that there is still so much to be done-even by us women-to protect ourselves.We need to be there for each other.Support each other in all ways possible ,caution the same very sons we love that women are as important if not more important than men.This they should know as they grow up,not when they grow up.

Love Shiku

Terry's picture

Another shoking story,

It is shocking to read your story and to know that this is happening even more than we ever know. There is a story in today's newspaper (Standard newspaper- Kenya) about a 74 year old woman who was raped by a 25 yr old man in the wee hours of the morning. She was asleep, around 4am and this young man broke into her house and raped her. She shouted in shock and disbelief, shouted the young mans name and the neighbor's wondering what was happening went to check on her, the young man had ran out. By 8am they old lady had died of shock. This is really sad. Where are we heading to? Are these the youth we're raising? What is happening in our nation, in the World. It is really unbelievable!

I don't know how, but something needs to be done. Meanwhile, let us pray for one another and for our Nations. We need God.



Terry Shiundu

shiku steve's picture

What a shame?

Terry,I think we are trully rotting if not rotten already.Where is all this madness coming from? I laughed over a sad joke the other day,when someone narrated an equally sad story,and another one jumped in a comment of "no wonder it is not raining in kenya"

The power of thinking says, our thinking potrays our behaviours.Its saddening therefore to note 'raping old women' is the new wave of thinking. Irritably our leaders are busied with who will be where after the hague sad.

Love Shiku

Mpendwa Chiku,
I have read your post and the comments that followed and have been trying to articulate my thoughts. As women, we have been the victims here but we also have such power in shaping the future because we are also Mothers. We raise these men, we instill values in them, we raise their consciousness, we teach them respect. I understand how difficult times are when mothers are working dawn to dusk to just put food on the table but we must remember that we have a responsibility to raise our children to be good citizens, to be respectful and considerate of others. If we provide them with a strong morale code to live by, when they grow up they will not rape and may even help discourage such behaviour from their peers.

Chiku, you stated it so eloquently. "This they should know as they grow up,not when they grow up."

shiku steve's picture

It is a challege!

Hello Janice
What a challege we have as women.A challege to put what we want in place.At times it hard,as we are looked down by the same men we have raised ,taken care of and love too much.But we have to brave our hearts,we have to suffer to survive and succend.We have to look behind and say ,this should never happen again.To any woman,a stranger ,a friend or a relative.If only we,women can know who we trully are embace each other in all areas,support each other in time of war and celebration,we will only measure success .Nothing less.

Thanks you so much loving Janice for your words.

Love Shiku

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