At a tender age of four, Janet* is going through any woman’s worst nightmare. She is frail but can manage a smile. One week ago, a person well known to her drugged her, defiled her and left her for dead in a maize plantation.
One Wednesday evening Janet came back from school and her mother gave her some money to buy sweets. The ninth born out of 10 children went to share the sweets with her daddy. Her dad sent her to close the window and that is when she met James*, a family friend squatting near their window.
She recounts how James lured her to join him for a motorbike ride. Half way through the ride, James offered to buy her a mango. She remembers James sprinkling some powder on the fruit but she did not pay much attention to it, after all James was like a brother to her. She however noticed the mango was more bitter than usual.
She didn’t pay much thought to it and continued eating the mango. She doesn’t remember much after that but she does remember being woken up by mosquitoes. She found herself in a maize plantation in total pain. She let out a scream and that is when a Good Samaritan came to her aid.
The parents noticed that she wasn’t back at around 9pm. They searched for until 3am with no luck. In the morning they reported at the chief’s camp as well as at Janet’s school.
Luckily, the Good Samaritan called the school and they confirmed that she was actually a student there. She was in a bad state and was rushed to Kisumu County Hospital and her parents called. They arrived when she was being rushed to theatre.
Her mother could not understand how James their humble 27-year-old neighbor would commit such an inhumane act on her daughter. “I may never understand why he did it but I am asking God to forgive him” she managed to say after we concluded interviewing her. “….but I want him to pay for his crime to serve as an example to the rest” she added.
James has since been arrested and charged. His case has been mentioned and hearing will resume on 8th September 2015. He couldn’t afford the 500000 cash bail hence he is been held at Kodiaga.
How safe are our girls? How well do you know your neighbors? Can you trust anyone with your girls anymore?
With statistics showing most children are defiled by people they know, we encourage everyone to be more vigilant. Let us protect our children, ending the violence starts with you!
*Names have been altered to protect the privacy of the survivor.
For help call, KMET free on 0800724500 or contact Child line Kenya-11, JOOTRH 0714138868
KMET is also in the process of operationalizing a safe temporary shelter known as the Freedom House for people who are suffering gender-based violence. Get in touch with us to learn how you can be part of the process.