165 children defiled monthly,
says police report
Published on March 10, 2008
By Evelyn Ogutu
Sex pests are on the prowl and are mostly targeting children.
As other crimes decrease, police say defilement incidents rose by
37 per cent last year.
Despite the enactment of the Sexual Offences Act two years ago,
the 2007 police crime statistics show 165 children were defiled
every month, which translates to six minors daily.
A total of 1,984 children had their lives shattered by rapists.
The crime report released last week indicates that cases of sexual
assault of women and children are more than murder cases.
Children, girls and women are no longer safe at home, places of
work, school or on the road.
Police say 2,860 women and children were defiled. But the number
could be higher because these were the reported cases only.
Many parents and victims would rather keep a sexual assault or
rape incident to themselves, fearing stigmatisation and the
rigours of the judicial system.
Nyeri District Children Officer, Mr Paul Kisavi, says: "Some
mothers would rather not report the case to the authority. The
victims, especially children, end up traumatised."
This year, the figures may go up due to chaos that followed the
disputed presidential election. Hundreds of rape cases have been
reported in IDP camps.
Every day, victims of rape and defilement turn up at Nairobi
hospitals and clinics.
"I could not run away. They gagged my mouth and pinned me down," a
woman told The Standard at a hospital in the city.
The Mathare resident said a gang of three raped and robbed her of
Health workers and the UN say there are hundreds of women who have
Staff at Nairobi Women’s Hospital, a leading centre for treatment
of sexual and gender violence victims, say the number of assault
cases have been on the rise since December.
Ms Rahab Ngugi, a patient service manager at the hospital, said
they have received more than 150 cases of rape and defilement.
"We used to see an average of four cases a day, now there is an
average of between eight and 10," she said.
Almost half of the victims are girls under 18. A two-year-old girl
is also a victim.
Only a small percentage of women go for treatment and counselling
after a sexual attack, said Ngugi.
This paints a bleak picture on the fight against HIV/Aids since
most rapists do not use condoms.
Despite Parliament passing the Sexual Offences Bill, gangsters are
increasingly raping women during robberies or carjacking.
Last year, many bus passengers were raped. Four months ago, thugs
carjacked a Busia-bound bus, robbed passengers and raped women.
Sometimes, fathers turn against their daughters. Last year in
Nyandarua, villagers lynched a 50-year-old man who had impregnated
his daughter twice.
Another man was in December caught defiling his nine-year-old
daughter in Tetu, Nyeri.
Kisavi says cases of fathers raping their children had risen by 10
per cent, with two cases reported every month.
Central Province is leading in the number of rape, defilement and
sodomy cases. The crimes are common in poor families. In Nairobi,
for instance, most defilement occurred in Kibera, Mathare,
Kawangware and Githurai. These are areas with many unemployed
A family counsellor, Ms Wangui Mwangi, says such incidents can
shatter a victim’s life. Besides the psychological trauma, rape
and defilement are associated with serious reproduction problems.
The stigma, says Mwangi, plunges the victim into silence, which
hinders them from getting help.
Sexual abuse on children and young adolescents is also increasing
at family level.
The World Health Organisation estimates a prevalence of 25 per
cent for girls and eight for boys.
Mrs Ann Njogu, executive director of the Centre for Rehabilitation
and Education of Abused Women (Creaw) decries harassment by police
when dealing with rape cases. The harassment, she says,
discourages many victims from reporting rape cases.
She said Creaw had received many complaints on mistreatment of
"Special desks at police stations, which were meant to attend to
the sexually abused persons, no longer work. Most women are not
reporting such cases," said Njogu.
Creaw is collecting information on gender-based violence,
including rape and defilement.
Njogu said they would soon revive the 4Cs anti-rape campaign to
help vulnerable persons know the danger spots.
"We are planning to initiate the campaigns again after the
shocking statistics from the police, which show defilement is
rampant once again," said Njogu.
The Sexual Offenses Act provides harsher punishment to rapists and
Those who attempt or sexually assault a child are liable to 15
years in prison.
Meanwhile, a woman, 43, was gang-raped in her house in Murang’a.
The mother of four, who was admitted to Murang’a District
Hospital, was alone in her Gitugi home when the gun-totting thugs