Still no justice for victims of post-election violence in Kenya

Still no justice for victims of post-election violence in Kenya

Eight years on, raped women are still being ostracised

"I just saw these Kikuyu young men [..]. They didn't say anything. They just beat me up and raped me in turns. They abandoned me near the river until I was rescued by a Kikuyu woman who dressed me but said she had to run because she was fleeing to a part of the slum with more Kikuyus. It was just chaos."

Adhiambo, an orphan, tells the Human Rights Watch (HRW) about one of her worst memories.

Even after 8 years, the Kenyan government has still not managed to make amends to all the victims of sexual violence due to the election in 2007, where a member of the Kikuyu community became president which the Lou community objected violently.

As an act of the Lou communitiy's disapproval, an estimate of 900 victims, especially women, were sexually abused, raped, mostly by gangs of four to ten men, either security forces, civilians or militia groups.

I think no person can even slightly imagine what devastating incidences these women have had to endure. If those are not already terrible enough, some of these women became pregnant from the rape and, because abortions are in most cases still illegal in Kenya, had to give birth to the child.

As a result, many of these unwanted and mostly unloved children had to grow up with violent mothers that only beat or tried to get rid of them. It is quite obvious that such a childhood leaves heavy marks on the child and effects it's life later on.

Adhiambo is one of those women. Shortly after she had been raped she gave birth to her daughter Brooklyn and has been struggling to accept her ever since.

Suffering from severe physical problems such as fistula and abandonment by their family and community were other consequences most of the women have had to live with after their assault.

I believe these mothers and their children need to get professional help and especially a proper compensation from their attackers as well as the Kenyan government. It is the only way for them to have a chance at a new life and start accepting their children.

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