Kenya: Victims of post-election sexual violence continue to suffer

| February 22, 2016

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Hundreds of women and girls still bear the physical and mental scars of sexual violence following Kenya’s post-election turmoil in 2007 and 2008, according to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released last week.

Because of the lack of medical attention, many survivors were unable to work or pursue an education. The report points to the Kenyan government’s failure to provide medical care, psychosocial support, monetary compensation, and other remedies to survivors.

The report says that groups of between four to at least 10 men gang-raped many survivors, at times in front of family members, including young children. Survivors were stigmatized by their husbands and communities. Some women contracted sexually transmitted diseases, became pregnant, or both.

The report also states that police officers and members of the paramilitary police unit known as the GSU were responsible for “a lot of” the attacks.

The government acknowledges that rapes occurred during the period, but has not offered assistance to the victims.

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Photo: Jaqueline Mutere, 48, was raped in December 2007 by a man she knows. She started Grace Agenda, a community-based organization to support survivors of sexual violence. Credit: Human Rights Watch