By Winnie Kabintie
The culture of rape in the country has been on the rise the past one year with minors comprising of the majority of victims.
The country is coming to terms with the horrendous ordeal in Homabay county that left a 13-year-old class, eight pupil gang-raped and her genitalia mutilated with a razor blade.
The girl had reportedly stepped out to use a latrine within their residential compound in Shauri Yako Estate at about 10 pm when two men pounced on her. The victim has been transferred from the Homabay district hospital to Nairobi women’s hospital where she is receiving specialised treatment.
The recent rape brings to memory the case of Liz, the class seven pupil who was gang-raped in Tingolo village in Busia County dumped in a pit latrine and as if the crime was not bad enough, her assailants, whom she had identified, were later arrested and punished with cutting grass before they were freed.
It only took a public outcry and an online petition dubbed #JusticeForLiz that drew global attention for the DPP to take up the case and order for fresh investigations.
In Kachieng sub location, East Kamagak location, an 11 -year- old girl was kidnapped and defiled for four days during the Christmas season. The parents are appealing for justice for their class five daughter.
Just two days ago, a five-year-old baby was raped and murdered and her mutilated body stashed in a gunny bag.
According to her mother, her face had been mutilated beyond recognition and she was only able to identify her through a bracelet she had on her wrist.
A pilot in Nairobi is also facing rape charges for allegedly defiling his girlfriend’s 8-year-old girl in Nairobi’s South C estate.
The man, Ledama sultan reportedly committed the act on September 30, 2018 and has since he was charged denied bail after the prosecution argued that he is a flight risk owing to his profession.
The case will be mentioned on January 16, 2019.
GOVERNMENT SHOULD TIGHTEN SEXUAL OFFENCES LAW
Something needs to be done and urgently to contain the rising culture of rape in Kenya before it gets out of hand.
The Sexual Offences Act, which came into effect in 2006, provides legislation for rape cases and gender violence but how cases are handled and bangled to the chagrin of victims coupled with a high rate of acquittals has left gender activists questioning whether the justice system in Kenya is really equipped to protect women from gender-based violence.
RAPE AND THE ELUSIVE P3 FORM
Accessing the P3 form, which is the first and crucial step in the quest to get justice after a rape, has often been an uphill task altogether as police ask for bribes or handle victims with insensitivity hence pushing them away.
The P3 is a legal document produced in court in cases of assault or rape. It is filled in by a police officer and, later, a registered government doctor or clinical officer who examines the complainant to determine the cause and extent of his or her injuries.
Some doctors have also played roles in denying rape victims justice when they fail to sign the P3 form to avoid the “inconvenience” of appearing in court to testify.
In May 2018, a new directive was passed by the Ministry of health made it mandatory for Medical officers and clinical officers examining and treating raped patients to sign the P3 form.
According to Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko, the move was aimed at relieving the load from police surgery officers who sign the forms, consequently increasing efficiency that would serve to the advantage of victims.
“This led to prolonged agony to these victims for they have to be re-examined again and most of the time the injuries and evidence to be used in court are no longer there,” said Kioko.