A 16 year old girl took her own life after her father raped and infected her with HIV – an incident of sex abuse that caused uproar in Kisumu county.
Anyango (not her real name) was raped by her step father in Kisumu County when her mother had gone to the market. He had threatened to stab her if she tried to scream.
After raping the child, he promised to murder her if she ever let her mom or anyone else know about the incident.
More hurting was the shocking revelation that he wasn’t her daughter and would not lose anything in slaughtering her if she goes against his order.
Anyango heeded to the threats and avoided telling anyone including her mother. She decided to let it go, thinking she would easily have her normal life back.
And things seems to be normal in the first few weeks. Anyango did her best to cope with the obvious trauma, trying to look and feel good, and keeping active in school. Nobody noticed what she had gone through in the last weeks.
As the weeks went by, the young girl began having signs of pregnancy. She dismissed it, but the signs persisted. She missed her period in the first month, had reoccurring fever and didn’t stop vomiting.
She became even more afraid of talking to her mother. She feared that if she dared speak about the rape, she would not only be killed, but her mom as well. So instead, she secretly went to see a doctor. And the doctor suggested a pregnancy test after hearing her complaints.
The result came and unfortunately she was with child; her step father’s child.
It didn’t end there. The doctor also asked if she was married or knew who was responsible for the pregnancy. She answered in the affirmative. She revealed to Anyango that she will have to get the man to be tested as well, because she was HIV positive.
She broke out into tears in the doctor’s room. Several rhetorics followed the minutes-long cry. And then she went on to tell the doctor how her supposed father had abused her sexually.
In agony, she left the hospital after the doctor had assured her life could go on no matter her HIV status.
However, the poor girl didn’t think she could actually live with the virus. She opted for suicide on that same day. The incident was reported to the police but before justice could be served her stepfather fled to an unknown destination. His whereabouts are yet to be determined.
According to the Gender Violence Recovery Center (GVRC), one in five Kenyan women has experienced sexual violence and 90% of reported perpetrators are men who are quite familiar with the victims. Vast number are relatives, neighbors, parents and even family friends.
Sexual violence is a human rights violation and should be stopped in the country immediately. No woman or girl should be subjected to sexual violence.