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ROBBING THE CRADDLE

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Kenya has a population of approximately 37million. Sexual violence is often consciously a weapon of war which include mutilation,exploitation, abuse and rape.
Rape is the greatest ordeal anyone can imagine. Every 26 minutes, a woman, a child , person is raped. But the rapist get their way out of the act shuttering and desolating the victims life.
Last year, the Nairobi women hospital received 2,562 sexual assault and domestic violence related cases, the youngest victim being five months old.
In the year 2006, the government enacted sexual offenses act which criminalized rape, defilement,sex tourism and sexual harassment. The new law maintains the existing maximum penalty of life imprisonment for rapists and minimum of 10 years in prison.
Child rape and molestation continues to be a serious problem. Teachers are rated highest number of perpetrators in the professional category with pastors and police officers following closely.
Annually, between 8,000- 13,000 girls drop out of school for unwanted pregnancy.

I feel more serious laws should be placed for the perpetrators as well as more watch dogs stepping in and looking at the matter to ease the madness.Your thoughts?

Comments

Lisa's picture

Ending Sexual Violence

Faith,

Sexual violence is an all too disturbing reality. The number of incidents of rape, molestation, and assault are overwhelming. Remembering that behind these numbers are the survivors, their partners, their families and their communities makes me realize how many more people are affected.

I think these are some of the tasks ahead:
1. to provide survivors with the necessary support to heal
2. to provide resources for the perpetrator to understand the crime and to heal and to find ways hold him accountable
3. to promote healthy relationships and share information to prevent these acts of violence
4. to make sure that, if the survivor wishes, the perpetrator is prosecuted and the survivor has the knowledge and resources to follow through with that

I think the legal system in every country should address these crimes against society, possibly with stiffer penalties. There should definitely be rehabilitation programs in place with the incarceration. The more difficult issue is changing society and our communities to prevent these acts of violence. Some organizations are developing community based programs, literature, and resources to respond to sexual violence. One of those organizations is INCITE! (http://incite-national.org) from California in the United States. Here's a quote from their website:

"We are told to call the police and rely on the criminal justice system to address violence within our communities. However, if police and prisons facilitate or perpetrate violence against us rather than increase our safety, how do we create strategies to address violence within our communities, including domestic violence, sexual violence, and child abuse, that don't rely on police or prisons?"

Here's a few links to organizations working on community-based accountability and responses to sexual violence:

INCITE!'s community accountability page:
http://incite-national.org/index.php?s=114

Generation Five:
http://www.generationfive.org/

Creative Interventions:
http://creative-interventions.org/

CARA:
http://cara-seattle.org/

Thank you for starting this conversation Faith. Is anyone involved in working either with the government or communities on this issue? What have been your experiences? What are your hopes for change and ending sexual violence?

In hope,

Lisa

Faith Mutuma's picture

Thanks Lisa for your great

Thanks Lisa for your great article. A few organization and NGO's have are independently working closely with the Government pertaining this issue.Nairobi Women Hospital is doing an incredible job helping the victims as well as some media houses that are swiftly fighting the vice in the society.
Safaricom, one of the leading mobile phone provider is also amazingly assisting the victims of rape.I thank God i have not experienced the ordeal but my hope for the future is to get rid of the this act and especially seeing perpetrators face the hand of the law.

Wendy's picture

What Can We Do in US

Faith,

Your information on rape in Kenya is horrifying. I had no idea how many professionals, were actually part of the problem. Are there organizations, or any legal provisions, that are going into screening teachers? Educating teachers on how rape affects children, and encouraging teachers to report other teachers that commit rape?

Education is designed to help children, not keep them oppressed and vulnerable. It seems that fighting this step by step, would be an a good start.

Is there any specific research or information you would like me to focus on. At this point I was going to focus on fighting rape committed by professionals in Kenya?

With a Big Hug,

Wendy

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