When my father is also my baby’s daddy

Nerea a twelve year old is the first born in a family of three siblings. Occasionally she has to take up her mother’s responsibilities whenever she flees her matrimonial home due to her husband’s physical abuse.

 

Late last year, her mother learnt that these duties were not limited to house chores; Nerea had to fulfil her father’s sexual needs as well. She had presented malaria-like symptoms but was confirmed pregnant when she was taken to hospital.

Nerea opened up to her mother about how the father frequently defiled her. Nerea’s mother confronted her husband and his response confirmed her fears. He threatened to kill both mother and daughter should any of them talk to anyone about the issue.

Information about the defilement somehow got round and in 2016, KMET learnt about Nerea’s case through the Kisumu Gender Technical Working Group WhatsApp group.

It was said that the mother was terrified of reporting the case to the police due to her husband’s constant threats. Fortunately, through the office of the assistant chief, with the help of a social worker, and the community’s paralegal, the girl was successfully rescued.

The paralegal clarified to Nerea’s mother, the legal implications of having Nerea at home without lodging a complaint with the police and she agreed to push through with the legal process. She took her daughter for medical examination at the Kisumu Gender Violence Recovery Centre and thereafter, she recorded a statement with the police.

Nerea* not her real name at Agape Children’s Home weeks after she was rescued from an abusive home.

Nerea* not her real name at Agape Children’s Home weeks after she was rescued from an abusive home.

Due to the sensitive nature of the case, Nerea was admitted at the KMET Freedom House. The Freedom House offers respite, security, emotional support, food, clothes and medical care for adolescents who have undergone gender and sexual violence.

One day during her five-day stay at KMET, she recounted how her father had repeatedly defiled her for months.

“He used to come to my room, put a panga next to my bed and threaten to kill me if I didn’t remain silent. He would then have his way with me,” narrated Nerea.

KMET liaised with Agape Childrens Home in Kisumu to accommodate Nerea to enable her continue with her studies temporarily. She was six months pregnant then.

Agape could not house Nerea for too long as well since they were not fully equipped to host a child with pre-natal needs. She stayed at Agape Children’s Home for a little over a month.

Finally, KMET approached Kiota Homes located in Muranga and the home agreed to take her in until she delivers and gives the newborn for adoption. Nerea’s mother consented to the adoption of the unborn child.

All this while the perpetrator- Nerea’s father was still at large. The Kisumu children’s department advised that the case had to be mentioned in court before Nereah was taken to Murang’a.

A trap was laid for the perpetrator with the help of Kondele police station and he was arrested on 22 April 2016, the same day the case was mentioned. Nerea travelled to Kiota homes and the perpetrator is currently being held at Kodiaga prison awaiting the court process.

However, like KMET and Agape Children’s Home, Kiota Home is just a holding center. After Nerea gives birth, she will have to vacate the home.

When asked what she wanted the most, Nerea had said her biggest wish was to go back to school.

Kiota Home advises that Nerea should be enrolled into a boarding school after she leaves the home but her mother who is jobless cannot afford to take her through school, much less through boarding school. The family’s breadwinner is now in jail but all Nerea wants is to go back to school like girls her age.

KMET has witnessed and handled several incest cases like Nerea’s from Western Kenya ( Betrayal of trust as father impregnates daughter)  a fact supported by the 2015 annual crime report released by the Inspector General of Police in March this year. The report singled out defilement as the leading form of morality crime.

Defilement cases rose to 4,495 in 2015 from 3,685 in 2014 and the situation seems to be worsening. This needs to get the conversation started… Are we doing enough as a society to protect our children? What more needs to be done?

To give feedback on this article, contact us through info@kmet.co.ke or marketing@kmet.co.ke

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

Through the eyes of a wounded child: 27year old behind bars for defiling a 4 year old

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.

STOP SGBV
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.

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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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