The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates indicate that 35 percent; that is 1 in 3 women at some point experienced physical sexual violence from either their partners or non-partners.
Globally, United States, South Africa, Sweden, India and United Kingdom are the top five countries with the highest cases of reported rape.
As we near home, in the country’s capital Nairobi, a report by Medecins San Frontieres (MSF) shows Kasarani, Kayole and some informal settlements in the city lead in cases of reported rape.
With the increasing cases of sexual violence and suffering of victims, one particular girl narrated her ordeal with a rapist; who by the grace of almighty couldn’t harm her but the trauma she went through left an eternal mark.
In the traditional African settings, women were perceived as an object of pleasure and their “expected” duty remains in the kitchen.
The worst cases are those where the victims see their attackers walking with impunity. In many instances, victims are threatened never to report the crimes meted on them.
This is the true story of a young, beautiful and ambitious girl who escaped from the wrath of a man who tried all possible ways to rape and injured her physically, leaving permanent scars on her body and mind.
Remembering her worst memorable moment of her life, she narrates.
“I had gone to see my boyfriend at Ushirika Estate, Eastleigh, in the evening.
A dark skinned, short chubby guy approached me with a smile and greeted me with a friendly tone,
“How are you sweety”? Hassan (her boyfriend) said you should wait for him in the playground since he is in the mosque now and when the time prayer ends, he will come out”.
With the confidence he approached her, she was convinced that the man meant no harm and followed him without a second thought of their destination. She continues,
“I innocently followed him to the football pitch, sat on a bench, waiting for my boyfriend behind a primary school.
In a blink of an eye, he unexpectedly hit and strangled her neck. With the sound of prayer call emanating from a loudspeaker, the only source of protection – her scream diminished right there.
“I couldn’t run because he held so tightly; almost choking me. He was so shameless, immoral and daring to envisage raping me behind the holy mosque with people busy worshipping their creator. That’s how brutal a rapist can be!”
Moment of struggle
As she struggled to free herself, she couldn’t help but shout. Unfortunately, no one was there to come to her aid.
“I fought back with that monster with a scream, biting and scratching where I could lay my hands on. With his massive fatty body, he forcefully landed on me sweating profusely and breathing heavily. The only thing he wanted to do was to undress me instantly.
With amplified slaps and throttle, feeling dizzy and choked, I began kicking in the air. At this point, I didn’t have the strength to scream.
The man was heavier, making her helpless in the rushed effort to save herself. Blood was oozing from the face due to the crude hitting, her body had weakened terribly.
“I was getting weaker and could smell blood on my face disregarding whether it nose bleeding or head injury. All I prayed for was the rapist off my body.
I knew I was blacking out any minute. Although my physical strength dwindled, the mind motivated my prayer so that I won’t be raped in a cataleptic state.
Dizziness overtook her
Endless prayer could save a man at the eleventh hour.
“When my eyes started seeing split images, and my head got dizzy, I told Jesus to give me five more minutes to fight the battle. At this minute, hot tears and blood streamed down my cheek”, she states.
In all this while, Lisa struggled to overcome the devil who tried to ruin her life, nobody assisted her. With her sincere prayers, help arrived finally. Chokoras (street urchins) joined the struggle, freeing her.
“Before the bastard could fully take down my clothes, some Chokoras arrived at the scene, run towards us, shouting and hurling stones.
Sensing that his proverbial forty days had elapsed, the fat coward got scared and hurriedly left his trouser. Somehow he managed to escape the wrath of the street urchins.
After chasing the criminal, they gave her water to wash the blood from her face and helped her with a jacket to cover her body.
Drenched in blood and sweat, the Good Samaritan provided water to clean the blood stain.
“The boys came with clean water from a nearby car wash and gave me a jacket to cover my semi-nudity. I was so shaken!”
When the prayer was concluded, worshippers from the mosque received the news with astonishment. A search for the criminal commenced immediately.
Frog-matched to the police station
In a sorry state, the imam interrogated me, made an announcement for the worshippers to get the criminal. My Good Samaritan boys gave his full description and in less than an hour, he was frog-marched naked to the nearest police station.
“He was coerced to apologize publicly. Shedding tears, crying for mercy, they took him to the Pangani Police Station.
They didn’t spare him on the way – kicking spitting on him. I had never seen my boyfriend cry before! He was one of those tough macho guys, so, seeing him furious, eyes all red like that and tears surprised me a lot”.
Her final say on the fateful incident
Going through such misfortune, Liz urges rape victims to speak up courageously.
“I urge all rape victims to speak up. So speak up ladies! Never fear to report a matter with such magnitude to the authority or even share with parents, friends, religious leaders, neighbours, brother, sisters or anyone who is willing to listen”, with hope, she sums up her distress.