Raped or defiled, what you need to do.

Gender Violence  Recovery Centre at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital

Gender Violence Recovery Centre at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital

More often than not when one is defiled or raped they become helpless. Life suddenly becomes unbearable and the thought of seeking justice is far-fetched. This happens because survivors suffer stigma. It should not be the case, one needs to report and legal action taken to stop these heinous acts. You could be wondering how to I go about this, well here is how.
In case of Rape
• Don’t take a bath. Even though it is a natural reaction to want to wash, do not take a shower or bath as this may destroy vital evidence needed in your case.
• Do not change your clothes as these may carry blood, semen and other bodily fluid which can be used as evidence. If you have to change clothes, DO NOT keep clothes in a PLASTIC BAG.
• If you can manage, do not go to the toilet or brush your teeth.
• Don’t drink any alcohol or take any medication before going to the police since this can influence the outcome of the medical examination, and you will also need to make a statement.
• Contact a friend/family member you trust for support. The first person you tell about the rape is called the first witness. This person may need to make a statement to the police about your condition and if possible, should accompany you to the hospital/police station.
• See a doctor first
• It is recommended that you visit the nearest clinic, hospital or doctor first. It is preferable to not visit a family doctor as he/she may not be trained for this type of medical investigation. The doctor must be willing to testify in court.
• Report to a police station and record a statement. Make sure you take the OB number.

Dealing with the police
Initially only a brief statement is required from you. Make sure you read over the statement before signing it. You can provide a more detailed statement later.

You must get the P3 Form. The Kenya Police Medical Examination form, popularly known as P3, is provided free of charge at our police stations. It is used to request for medical examination from a Medical Officer of Health, in order to determine the nature and extent of bodily injury sustained by a complainant(s) in assault cases. Part I of the form must be filled by the Police Officer requesting medical examination.

Part II must be filled by a Medical Officer or Practitioner carrying out the examination giving medical details. This form is a government document and must be returned to the police for use in adducing evidence in court. Once the P3 form is filled in at the police station, the complainant is escorted by a police officer to a medical officer or practitioner for examination. The form becomes an exhibit once produced in court.

At the police station you have the right to:
• Make your statement in a private room
• Make your statement to a female officer (if there is one)
• Make your statement in your own language
• Have a friend/family member with you for support
• Get a copy of your affidavit (you are entitled by law), name of the investigating officer and case number.
• Get the OB number of the police station you can call to check progress on your case.

• If a suspect has been caught, make sure they inform you of a bail application. You have no right to testify at the bail application, but you can find out the name of the prosecutor and the court where the hearing will take place.
• You can approach the Chief Prosecutor or Prosecutor in charge of Sexual Offences before the bail hearing and disclose your fears if the suspect is released on bail.

What happens during the medical examination?
Try and remember. Provide as much details as you can of the incident to the doctor examining you. This may serve as useful evidence.

Rape kit
The doctor needs to complete a rape kit, this includes taking note of any injuries, scrapings under finger nails, evidence of sperm from your vagina and looking for possible DNA.
No male officer may be present at the examination and once again, you have the right to have a friend or relative with you to support you.

HIV
It is important to get PEP within 72 hours of penetration, attempted penetration, oral sex, or anal sex to reduce the possibility of contracting HIV.
Before getting the medication, you will need to undergo an HIV test.

STDs and pregnancy
During the first doctor’s examination you may need to take in quite a lot of medication. Doctors may prescribe medicines to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and further infections such as hepatitis, and to prevent pregnancy.
If you are already pregnant when you are raped, talk to the doctor about the possibilities of your unborn baby becoming infected with HIV.

Forensic evidence
Doctors may ask for your clothes and other evidence which will be sealed in a paper, not plastic bag. Plastic bags can cause degradation of biological material (such as semen) as a result of the heat in the bag.
All evidence is entered into a special police crime kit.

Getting support
Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS) is a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that often affects rape survivors. This psychological disorder can be very debilitating. It is important to get some form of support or counselling after being raped, as you will have many emotions and concerns that you will need to work through.

If you are in Kisumu you can visit Gender Violence Recovery Centre at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (Russia)

Call us for free on 0800724500 or contact these numbers for help; Child line Kenya-116 and Health Assistance Kenya-1195.

Help us break the silence on such instances of human rights violation by sharing your story with us. It is through the documented cases that we can demonstrate how real the situation is and influence programs to support survivors

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It can be any woman’s struggle; Violated twice and almost gang raped.

Did you know that a rape victim is statistically more likely to get raped again than a female who has never been raped?  There’s no common denominator like- job, age or even neighborhood. It’s just that if it happened once, it’s more likely to happen again.

In a 1999 longitudinal study of 3,000 women, researchers found women who had been victimized before were seven times more likely to be raped again.

Vera*(not her real name) had just lost her parents at the age of thirteen and the future seemed so dark. Being the first born, she assumed the role of a parent to her siblings who were still young.

Luckily, she got a job as a house help and now her siblings could find something to eat. Little did she know that hell was about to break loose. One evening while she was going about her duties her employer’s husband raped her and threatened to take away her job if she dared say a thing.

This went on for two years without the wife’s knowledge and when she complained of experiencing pain, this man would only say isebet kitimo chode (you have been prostituting).

One fine morning, her Aunt decided to come for her and take her to school where her children were also studying. Her life had just begun to show some light and there was so much hope for the future, this time round nothing could go wrong.

One day after classes her teacher sent her to clean the chicken house and she went without hesitating, he later asked her to wash the dishes and this was another sad ending as she was raped again! Something she thought would never happen.

She sought for someone to confide in and at that time her uncle was the only one but too bad she was already pregnant and her teacher opted to marry her at seventeen.

Pain from the memories of her previous rapist were fresh in her mind whenever she got  intimate with her husband and this went on for two years till she felt she could not take it anymore. Her husband got angry and most times he would leave the house without giving her any money yet she had a baby to take care of.

This was not happening again, this time round she had to be in control, enough of all the pain! She decided to escape and rent her own house with her now two children. Her job was well paying, the only job this sad world had taught her and she did not care what anyone else thought-she was a prostitute!

Her job would end late yet with two young children she had to rush back home at odd hours. One night along the street he met with three men who wanted to gang rape her, she had to think fast.

“I have AIDS”, she yelled. Luckily enough two of the men who could not stand the thought of contracting the disease left and she was left with one who was very persistent. She later managed to escape with the help of a motorist passing by.

“I haven’t shared my story with any one till I came to Kmet to gain basic skills. My teacher has been very supportive and that’s why i decided to open up to her, she counseled me and even gave me a shoulder to cry on .I feel better now, I don’t prostitute any more”. She concluded.

In order to reduce occurrences of SGBV, KMET has come up with Freedom House (rescue center) to help tackle challenges young women face. It aims to educate and empower GBV victims as well as give them the opportunity to indulge, share and overcome experiences of abuse.

Ending the violence starts with you and that is why we encourage everyone to be responsible enough to report the cases at any nearest responsible center.

  You can also call us for free on 0800724500 or contact these numbers for help: Child line Kenya-116 and Health Assistance Kenya-1195.

If you wish to contact JOOTRH Gender based Violence Centre Call 07141388868 or beep for medical attention.

By, Beryl Onyango

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