Kenya’s Forgotten Rape Survivors

Kenya’s Forgotten Rape Survivors

How some of the Kenyan womens lives have been destroyed

​"I feel like I am imprisoned in my own body;" "It's in me and it has refused to go away;" "My body is destroyed," or, "It's as if I am carrying a heavy stone.",

are some of the phrases women, who were victims of rape, used, to describe their painful experiences.

Although it is more than eight years since hundreds of women were brutally raped during post-election violence in Kenya, the terrible events of 2007/8 continue to affect survivors to this day.

Many of these women recall their ordeal as if it had happened yesterday since most of them are still struggling with physical as well as psychological effects from the violence or often ostracized by their family and community.

While the Kenyan government compensated people who were displaced at the time, many survivors of sexual violence have neither been compensated nor seen justice.

Agnes Odhiambo, senior researcher in the Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, interviewed survivors countrywide for her new report. In the following interview, she talks to Birgit Schwarz about their pain and why it is important to tell their stories.

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