A 19 year old petite lady was escorted into my office … hand cuffed! She was a murder suspect – this following the death of her husband after sustaining a penetration injury to his chest. She was downcast and visibly confused. This is her story…
A few days before, at some odd hour of the night, her husband came home drunk, as usual. He demanded ugali and meat. The good wife, a Form 4 leaver, had began the cooking process when her sickly infant started crying. Any mother knows what that means, drop everything and rush to get the baby back to sleep so she can get some much needed rest. This is exactly what she did. Her drunk husband would hear none of it. He demanded to know why he wasn’t the priority at that point and further demanded that she sits with him as the food cooked and that they thereafter eat together. She pleaded with him to allow her to soothe the sick infant so that she could free herself enough to give him the attention his irrational 3 year old mind was demanding.
He landed on her with slaps, kicks and blows. She was shocked by this as this was the first time he had hit her. Previously he ‘only’ shouted at her and had once thrown a table at her, an incident which according to her, had been settled by the elders – who told him to stop drinking alcohol. She had believed he would.
But this time, he hit her!! again and again!! picked a knife to stab her and himself so that they would leave the child an orphan!! That was his intention – he shouted it severally! A struggle ensued once it dawned on her that he would actually go through with his threats. Upon the realisation that indeed she could die, she tried to defend herself. Despite knowing she was hurt -she had the edge of the knife buried deep in her palm – she refused to let go, she tried to get it away from him, and prevent further injury to herself. In the blink of an eye, the knife was lodged in his chest, and he was bleeding profusely. By now neighbors had been trying to make their way into the home as she screamed “ananiua! Nisaidieni! ” (He’s killing me! Help!)
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A young man was brought to the office, he apparently killed his wife. She was a drunkard and social nuisance, having landed him in a lot of trouble several times because of her drunk and disorderly ways. She had a habit of beating him up, evidenced by the numerous scratch marks and scars on his body. He was a tiny man. He said she was stronger than him so he never bothered fighting back. He had tried leaving her severally but she kept following him wherever he went. On this day that landed him in police custody, she had picked a fight after coming home in the wee hours of the night, and as the battle ensued, she grabbed a knife to stab him. He reacted, defending himself, a natural instinct. In the altercation, they both fell, with the knife lodged in her chest. She died shortly after.
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A 14 year old girl fell victim to defilement. Her story:
The drunk neighbor pulled her into his house, fed her “water” by force, after which she passed out, woke up hours later with vaginal and anal pain. She was picked outside his house by a fellow neighbor who called her parents to take her to hospital as she was unresponsive.
He narrated that she took herself to his house and that she was a drunkard herself. He said that she was a promiscuous alcoholic who looked like an adult. He also added that he didn’t remember much since “pombe si maji” (alcohol is not water).
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A 25 year old mother of a 2 year old child limped into the office, she had black eyes and vaginal bleeding, after her step father tied her to a chair, beat her, and raped her. Let’s call him – Lucifer.
‘Why?’ Some of you may ask – and I always wonder how people have the nerve to ask that question. ‘what did she do to cause such?’. The answer to that is “NOTHING”. Nothing warrants such violations of anyone’s rights ever!
However, this incident was provoked when she reported ‘Lucifer’ to her maternal grandmother. You see, a few days before, she witnessed him hit her mother – lets call her Mary*- on the head, rendering her instantly unconscious to date. It has been a few weeks now, Mary is still in HDU. As if this isn’t bad enough, the victim had just delivered a bouncing baby girl a few weeks earlier. After the attack on her mother, her baby was shipped off to God knows where by Lucifer. Oh, might I add, Lucifer loved his drink.
‘Where is her biological father?’ You ask, well He up and left years ago!
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I examined an 80+ year old rape victim..raped by her daughter’s teenage boyfriend and his friends. Before her, I had attended to a 5 year old girl who I suspect had a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) after her teenage neighbor sexually violated her repeatedly. Shortly before her, I had examined 3 pregnant teenage girls under 14 years of age, all of whom were not truthful about their pregnancies, obviously protecting someone. All fingers pointed at their fathers and step fathers. In 2 of these cases, mothers were absent & had left these girls in their father’s care. A lot of mothers, left because of domestic violence, alcohol related strife in the home and infidelity.
I weep for Kenya. By the time we are having boys as young as 12 or 13 and even 8 years raping other children, it means they too have undergone these very same violations so much that it has become the norm to them.
My fellow Kenyans, do you not see the connection? You cannot continue to ignore these obvious signs of moral and societal disintegration. We are self-destructing. We are killing ourselves. We all must take responsibility to ensure safety in our homes. We must protect our children from violence and abuse. Children can be moulded the right way by instilling the right values. Children must be shielded from these negative experiences. Only then can we have healthy adults who will then have stable homes and equally healthy children.
We cannot ignore these issues any longer because one day, it could be you who is violated by a rapist. It could be your daughter who is murdered by that dysfunctional husband. It could be your son who is jailed for killing his dysfunctional wife. It could be your child who is raped by that taxi driver. It could be you who married that dysfunctional abuser who rapes your child.
It could be you….
I realise that most of us are afraid of the unknown, afraid of reporting these things, afraid of reaching out for help, and worse, afraid of listening and acting upon our gut instincts. That instinct is your inner voice speaking to you. Listen to it! Leave that abusive husband. Report that neighbors child who has been defiling the neighborhood kids.
Speak out! Break the Silence because Silence breeds violence!
Remember, it could be you…