There was widespread sexual violence against women and girls perpetrated by the Kenyan police during the post-election chaos that erupted after the August elections.
According to the report by The Human Rights Watch titled; “They were men in uniform”: Sexual violence against women and girls in Kenya’s 2017 elections” “majority of the victims were gang raped (both vaginally and anally), others were violated with objects and dirt inserted in their private parts and in at least one case, a girl died after being raped.
All the victims said that they were sexually violated by men in police uniform.
“About half of the women interviewed said that they were raped by policemen or men in uniform, and some described being attacked by men in uniform with beards and rastas (dreadlocks). Other survivors said they were raped by civilians, “the report observes.
The report further states that most of the attacks were accompanied by additional acts of torture and physical violence, and some attackers subdued their victims with verbal threats or by pointing guns or knives at them.
Lack of Goodwill To Prevent Sexual Violence
The report observes that state authorities have failed to prevent election-related sexual violence, properly investigate cases, hold perpetrators accountable, and ensure survivors of sexual violence have access to comprehensive, quality, and timely post-rape care.
Most of the victims of rape did not report the cases to the police as they largely felt they won’t get any help.
“I did not go to the police because even in 2007 we were abused by the police and we were told by police, ‘you cannot report the government to the government,” Said one of the victims identified by human rights watch as mercy Maina.
The Human Rights Watch report ges to recommend that Kenyan authorities should take measures to protect women and girls, as well as men and boys, against sexual violence, including by government security agents.
“They should ensure that there are clear codes of conduct and disciplinary measures in place with respect to police and security forces, and raise awareness and speak out against sexual violence. Kenyan authorities should ensure that all health workers have and follow a clear protocol for health services and referrals that should be provided to victims of sexual violence and that they and the police properly document and collect available evidence in all cases of sexual violence presented to them, and that the evidence is properly stored,” the report says.
The report; “They were men in uniform”: Sexual violence against women and girls in Kenya’s 2017 elections” “is based on interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch between September 25 and November 24, 2017 with 65 women, three girls, and three men who experienced sexual violence during the post-election period, and 12 witnesses to the election violence in some of Nairobi’s informal settlements, Kisumu, and Bungoma.