One of the biggest mistakes students make after being raped is to keep quiet. They fear retaliation from the aggressor’s families or supporters if he is convicted. They also fear the police believing that they’ll be harassed. And there’s also the fear that no-one would believe that they were raped since they appeared to go willingly but were really drunk.
A Crime Scene Investigation (Nairobi) reveals that rape is the most highly under reported crime in Kenya, with only 1 out of 20 women having the courage to report it to the police. More shocking is the fact that only 1 out of 6 will seek medical attention.
The report also highlighted the fact that what caused the 5,200 percent rise in rape cases between 2007 and 2008 was partly;
-High number of repeat offenders
-Lack of DNA evidence in the forensic research
-A large number of Kenyan youth are unemployed thus resolve into crime
I talked to National Police spokesperson Zipporah Gatiria Mboroki who took me through the procedural response that is upheld once a rape case is reported.
She highlighted the fact that all cases are treated the same no matter where they occurred.
“When a rape case is reported to the police, the person is offered with a P3 (form) and is escorted to the hospital. At the hospital, she’s examined by the doctor and then the P3 is sealed. It is then taken back to the police station,” she reveals.
The person who committed the act is arrested at the same time especially if the victim knows them. This is usually the most crucial moment in the investigation process as evidence must be gathered within the shortest time possible.
The suspect is normally subjected to a medical examination too. This deems fit since it has to be proven that he indeed committed the act. Simultaneously, a statement is recorded before the criminal is taken to court where the incident turns into a court case.
“There was a 5200 percent increase in rape cases between 2007 and 2008”
When asked about how rape cases slip through varsity authorities, she said that the university is an independent body that should know the importance of taking this matter seriously.
However she advised the students not to wait for their lecturers or fellow classmates to take them to the police station.
“As a person, they should come and report to us because if you have not reported it, how will I know that the offense has occurred?” Mboroki explains. She says that they’re currently handling one case from the University of Nairobi.
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I talked to the PR person who referred me to the Dean of students. I hadn’t gotten a response from him at the time of publication of this feature.
At campuses, when a student is raped they feel taken advantage of, lose self-esteem to even walk through the corridors. They lock themselves out of the public eye. This helps the offender to come out as a victor and eventually the case is forgotten.
You will remember a foreign case where a student reported seven months after she experienced anal rape by a fellow student at Columbia University. However, the case was treated lightly and she had to demonstrate how rape happens by drawing a diagram. Traumatising.
“If you have not reported, how will I know that the offense has occurred”
Mboroki advises that when a person is raped they should try as much as possible to preserve the evidence. They should not take a shower – to keep the semen intact – and they should keep the undergarment they had on during the assault. This will help provide some of the evidence crucial in the conviction of the criminal.
With this being said, it is the collective responsibility of the student, the parent and institution to see that date rape in campuses is reduced. As we all know, when a person is raped by someone they initially trusted they no longer trust their own judgment.
Rape calls for a psychological, emotional, legal and religious approach when helping the victim overcome pain and torment.
Listen to her audio below: