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‘Someone banged on my door’: 7 years after election rapes, justice still missing for Kenya survivors

Jacqueline Mutere/Guest Blogger on October 26, 2015

Post-election Violence in Kenya

This post originally appeared on Women Under Siege.

Following the elections in late 2007, Kenya endured significant atrocities, including murder, ethnic cleansing, and rape. The media reported on hundreds of cases of sexualized violence during that time, and the Commission of Inquiry on Post-Election Violence confirmed the allegations. Today, years after that violent crisis, women are still seeking justice.

This is one of their stories.

In January 2008, during the violence that followed Kenya’s disputed 2007 elections, someone banged on my door.

The man was a friend of my neighbor and, since my neighbor wasn’t home, I thought I might be able to help. But when I opened the door, he forced his way into my house and raped me.

After the rape, I didn’t go to the hospital right away. Because of the pain, it was quite difficult to move. Instead, I went two days later, only to find the hospital closed. I decided to try the police station, but the officer in charge of taking statements wasn’t there. So, despite my efforts, I never attained justice for the criminal act I had painfully endured.

A hearing is scheduled for October 27 as part of a case against the Kenyan government for its failure in protecting people and properly investigating cases of sexualized violence that took place during the country’s post-election violence. My story is just one example of the countless cases of rape that occurred during such clashes in my country. It is also an example of the many hurdles a survivor must overcome in order to pursue justice. While I knew it was important to see a doctor, and I tried to get to the hospital and police station, neither institution had the proper infrastructure to ensure that I received justice...

Read the full article on Women Under Siege.


Places: Kenya

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