Oduu Haaraya

Six men gang-raped me and walked free, narrates woman

November 21, 2014, Nairobi (Standard Digital News) — I came to Kenya as a refugee in October 2010. I had escaped from Ethiopia since I am an Oromo and my family members had been accused of being members of the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

I knew the government was going to arrest me next so I crossed the border and came to Nairobi, I didn’t know anybody but I made my way to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees who gave me refugee identification status, and then housed me. I came with my little boy, then two years old.

I live in Dagoretti, Wanyee and life hasn’t been easy. This year, on February 10, at about six in the evening, I left my house to go buy a packet of milk. The shop is about half a kilometer from my house. On my way to the shops, I saw two men, standing next to a Nissan Van; the type used for matatus, though this one wasn’t a matatu. It didn’t have the yellow lines painted across its body. I stayed at the shop for five minutes then started walking back to my house.

As I approached my house, I saw the van again, and this time, the engine was running. I passed the van and two men emerged behind it. One held my hands and I started screaming. The other man stuffed a piece of cloth into my mouth and they pulled me into the van.

I kicked wildly; trying to free myself but the men in the van restrained me. The van started moving as I continued struggling but they slapped and hit me in the stomach until I stopped struggling. They had forced me to sit between them just behind the driver’s seat. I saw the van heading into Kibera and I instantly knew these were not thieves.

I also knew nobody would want to kidnap me for ransom since I am a refugee. Coming from a war torn zone, it hit me hard. These men only wanted one thing. They wanted my body. I looked around the van and I counted six men. I knew they were stronger than me, but I wasn’t going to make it easy for them, so I started struggling with every bit of strength I had in me while they continued beating me.

The car eventually stopped at a deserted spot. I later came to know that it was near the Show Grounds. The men then stripped me naked and had their way. They were six of them, I remember during the ordeal, praying to God to let me die than continue feeling the men on top of me. I lost consciousness at some point.

I woke up at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital. The doctors told me I had been brutally raped and that they had to operate on me to extract a bottle from my private parts. When the animals had finished raping me, they pushed a bottle inside me.

The Gender Violence and Recovery Centre paid my hospital bill and I undergo counselling often. I have lost use of my bodily functions and I have to wear adult diapers. I don’t feel anything down there. I identified one person who did the heinous act to me, and I told the police. A different person, who I could also identify, was arrested and arraigned in court.

After the first mention, the case just disappeared. The police man who was following my case at Kilimani Police Station was involved in an accident and the new officer in charge of my case has been dragging his feet. He tells me to settle with my assailants out of court.

“Ongea na hawa watu kama wazee na hii mambo itaisha” is what he tells me. On 21st October, I went to Refugee Consortium of Kenya (RCK) on Ndemi Road to follow up on my refugee status where I came face to face with one of the men who raped me. He pointed a gun at me and ordered me to drop the case. The officer who handled my case at RCG also asked me to drop the case. The only people who have been behind me are Fida and Gender Violence and Recovery Centre.

I am all alone in this world; the only reason I haven’t killed myself is because of my little boy. If I knew he had someone to take care of him, I would rather be dead than continue suffering. The people who raped me threaten me with death if I don’t drop the case. Can’t they see they already killed me when they raped me? Why should I have to suffer like this? Yet the guys who did this to me go scott free?

The Nairobian sought comment from an officer from the Gender Violence and Recovery Centre who confirmed that the woman was indeed sexually assaulted and that the organisation paid for her treatment.

“I cannot give you so much detail because what we do is strictly confidential. A patient may wish to appeal in the media but we can’t get involved because we need to earn trust of the patients who come here. I can indeed confirm that her case was serious. We have continued counselling her but she still requires one more surgery,” explained the officer.

Source: Standard Digital News

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