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I live in fear of my rapists

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For *Betty Ondisa, a student at Elite Vision High School in Kibra, the late-night celebrations to usher in the New Year on December 31, 2019 presaged scars that still linger months later.

On her way home, the 19-year-old, who lives in Gatwikira, was accosted by a young man known for petty crimes. He threatened her with a knife before dragging her into an isolated house where he, and three other men gang-raped her.

One man in the group, she says, “…did not rape me. He ‘sympathised with me.”

All the perpetrators, except one, looked familiar and while some of the culprits were later arrested, she occasionally meets some of them in the neighbourhood.

DELAYED RESPONSE

Cases of gender-based violence (GBV) have been on the rise in the slums, especially in the wake of the pandemic, according to data collected by Shining Hope for Communities (Shofco) a community-based initiative established in urban slums in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

And while there have been measures to contain the scourge, challenges including proliferation of Kangaroo courts and delayed response by authorities still abound, according to Caroline Sakwa, the gender director at the organisation.

In informal settlements, the issue happens in much more than the usual implicit forms like domestic violence, child abuse and defilement. It extends to emotional abuse, physical assault, negligence, sodomy, indecent acts, trafficking and attempted defilement among others according to her.

CASES DRAG

“And an even bigger challenge is that the perpetrators do not get arrested. For those who we manage to prosecute, the court cases drag for long.

“In other cases, there are no mechanisms in place to find redress for the victims. The authorities are failing us in a way,” she says.

Ms Sakwa cites a recent defilement case of a 12-year-old in which one of the perpetrators was a 16-year-old who was considered a minor and easily got off the hook.

According to the department, which has been spearheading the drive to fight GBV in a number of urban slums, the rise in cases at the onset of the pandemic has largely been due to the lengthened period in which households stay together mainly in cramped spaces. Majority of the habitations are only a few square feet in size.

JOB LOSSES

The situation has been heightened by consequent job losses leading to high stress levels and hence wanton irritability.

“It is true there has been a surge in GBV cases in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. And while the government directs all efforts in the fight against the disease, GBV blatantly continues to rear its ugly head,” says Margaret Ochieng’, the gender coordinator at the organisation’s gender department.

From January to May – two months into the period in which the disease had been confirmed in the country – they received 504 cases in the neighbourhood alone, which pales in relation to similar durations in the previous years.

And at the rate, Ms Ochieng’ feels the cases could way exceed the 1,000 mark by the end of the year.

REPORTING PERPETRATORS

“And these are just the reported cases. Many others go unreported because of fear and intimidation and lack of empowerment,” says Ms Ochieng’.

The biggest problem, Ms Sakwa adds, is that many perpetrators remain free, exposing the victims and others to the perpetrators. She adds that community perception regarding the issue leads to them protecting rather than reporting perpetrators.

Their efforts to control the vice are further hampered by lack of legal representation of the victims and the incorporation of informal courts to pay off victims to drop their charges continue.

In 2017, according to data they collected, 636 cases were reported to them, in 2018 it went up to 724, while in 2019 they received 825 cases.

WORRISOME TREND

While these increases can be attributed to the fact that many know that they should report any form of GBV to authorities, the spike during the pandemic portends a worrisome trend.

For 30-year-old Prisca Vieliza, her pregnancy with her second child in 2018, what would ordinarily be perceived a blessing, marked the genesis of her tribulations.

Living with her husband of five years and their six-year-old son in Nairobi’s Kawangware area, her spouse sent her to their rural home to deliver from there.

She obliged and went to their rural home in Nyang’ori, Vihiga County, where she had an uneventful delivery.

ROUGH CITY

When she sought to come back to Nairobi a few months later, however, her husband who had hitherto gone silent, could not be reached.

Ultimately, she found out that he had married someone else. Ms Vieliza was now stranded with two children, no money, homeless and at the mercy of the rough city.

That evening, she was forced to ‘get married’ to the first man she met – a boda boda rider. She, consequently got ‘married’ to four other men in a span of five months.

“I had no choice because I was desperate,” she says.

This was after the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in the country, and the lockdown was in place, so she had nowhere to go.

She says the ‘husbands’ took advantage of her desperation and abused her before kicking her and her children out.

HIV POSITIVE

She ended up roaming the streets during the day, and spending the nights in a roadside shack, where she stayed for several weeks before help came.

“I even came close to ‘marrying’ one who was frank enough to first reveal that he was HIV positive, if I was okay with the arrangement,” she says.

During this time, she says depression mounted and countless times she thought of taking her own life.

Despite reporting them to the local chief and the police, those who abused her in the short-lived ‘marriages’ still go about their businesses, freely.

She is, however, grateful she was afforded accommodation and provisions in a safe-house where she now stays with her two children.

By nation.co.ke

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Entertainment

‘We met in a bar,’ How Kansiime and bae’s relationship started

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Ugandan comedian Anne Kansiime is dating Youtuber SkyLanta. The two have been giving fans a glimpse into how their relationship started as well as what they like and dislike about one another among others.

Skylanta opened up on the day he met the comedianne.

I met her in a bar and that night, she was buying alcohol and I was like I came to spend money but if these celebrity is splashing money why not.

Kansiime added;

I was supposed to meet my sister but she came with this guy called Sky they used to do music together.

Her boyfriend even joked that she was the one who hit on him first.

The two said their first kiss was horrible.

“We had the worst first kiss.”

They have been dating for more than a year. This is after Kansiime and her husband separated.

by Mpasho.co.ke

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Entertainment

Anita Nderu finally comes out, confirms she is a member of LGBTQ

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Media personality and content creator Anita Nderu has left tongues wagging after coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community via a tweet.

This she did via the tweet below.

‘I hope my kids never have to go through what I have gone through for being LGBTQ+.’

 Below are some of the reactions

@MatthewMuhindi: Yeah lesbian couples can get kids @AnitaNderu, you can use the IVF method in vertro fertilization ..

In this option, one partner provides the eggs, which are fertilized with donor sperm, and the other carries the pregnancy… All the best. 

@Jwmungai: No one should be judged or accused of his or her sexual orientation…. Everyone has a right to what h/she thinks is right.

@Sesyline_KE: Funny Kenyans don’t know Lesbian couples can have kids, am happy for Anita, I really don’t mind who people choose to be with I hope in the future things change.

@Josefmasta: Whichever way you describe it a man will be involved even if it’s just donating sperms.

@Out_look470: For me and my body I shall always do what the Bible says,hakuna mahali tumeambiwa eti Sarah saw her sister and she bore her a son named Isaac. Hakuna!

By Mpasho.co.ke

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Health

All about subdural hematoma, condition Nameless’ dad has been suffering from

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Kenyan artiste Nameless has revealed that his dad has been ailing from a condition known as Subdural Hematoma in medical terms.

A subdural hematoma is a collection of blood outside the brain. It occurs when there is a head injury.

The bleeding is under the skull and outside the brain, not in the brain itself. As blood pools, however, it puts more pressure on the brain.

In the case of Nameless dad, the condition had led to clots in the head which in turn were causing minor strokes.

Below are things to learn about the condition.

There are different symptoms to Subdural hematoma and some include

  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Change in behavior
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy or excessive drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Apathy
  • Seizures

The symptoms in subdural hematoma patients are not standard, it varies from one patient to another.

The conditions that influence the symptoms one has when battling subdural hematoma include

  • The size of the hematoma
  • Age of the patient
  • Other underlying medical conditions

Hematoma is majorly caused by a head injury, such as from a fall, motor vehicle collision, or an assault.

The sudden blow to the head tears blood vessels that run along the surface of the brain.

A subdural hematoma can be diagnosed using imaging tests, such as a CT or MRI scan.

Your doctor may also give you a physical examination to check your heart rate and blood pressure for evidence of internal bleeding.

An acute subdural hematoma can only be treated in an operating room.

A surgical procedure called a craniotomy may be used to remove a large subdural hematoma.

It’s normally used to treat acute subdural hematomas. In this procedure, your surgeon removes a part of your skull in order to access the clot or hematoma.

They then use suction and irrigation to remove it.

Results of hematoma may include

  • brain herniation, which puts pressure on your brain and can cause a coma or death
  • seizures
  • permanent muscle weakness or numbness.

By Mpasho.co.ke

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