KENYA: Sexual and domestic violence prevalent

Georgina Cranston/IRIN

Sexual violence is increasingly prevalent in Kenya and police statistics show that more than 2,800 cases of rape were reported in 2004 - an increase of close to 500 compared to the previous year.Domestic violence is also a serious problem in the East African nation. A demographic health survey carried out by the Ministry of Planning in 2003 revealed that at least half of all Kenyan women had experienced violence since the age of 15, with close family members among the perpetrators.The chilling statistics, however, do not tell the full story of the emotional devastation of individual rape victims. Take the case of a woman in her early twenties we shall call Rachael.She recalls the evening of 13 February with horror. As she walked the short distance between the bus stop and her home in Nairobi's impoverished Eastlands, four men brutally and repeatedly gang raped her. "One man grabbed me and showed me a large knife. He said if I screamed, he would kill me. They dragged me to a nearby bush and each of the men raped me. Then three of them left me with the one who had grabbed me first. He kept me there for two hours and continued raping. . . . . .

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