Press: Sexual violence victims call for peaceful elections

SGBV press
NAIROBI JUNE 2017: Survivors of sexual violence in Kenya have called on the Kenyan government to declare the vice a national disaster. They also called on the government to publish and disseminate a clear code of conduct that will guide any security operations and deployments during the election period to address cases of sexual violence. DOWNLOAD PRESS STATEMENT

Speaking during a press conference held at the Kenya Comfort Hotel in Nairobi, the survivors said sexual violence has become the single most cruel and steadily growing crime in Kenya.

Sexual violence is undeniably a violation of human rights and has become the single most cruel, steadily growing crime in Kenya saying it was not only a physical and violent act committed against one victim but a violation on humanity. It is on this background that the Survivors of Sexual Violence in Kenya called upon all Kenyans of goodwill to maintain peace before, during and after the August 8th elections.

The Survivors of Sexual Violence in Kenya is a platform that brings a unified voice to address sexual violence and to amplify survivors’ voices around the country. The movement will ensure that all duty bearers are held accountable in the access to justice for all survivors. 

Its magnitude, they argued, is large with its socio-economic consequences that continuously threaten to tear families and communities apart.

The majority of the survivors present at the meeting have suffered various forms of sexual violence that include rape, gang rapes, forcible circumcision of men, genital mutilation, sexual slavery and enslavement, sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence.

They also faulted President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto for failing to fulfil a promise they made to victims of the 2007-08 post-election violence.

They said that all they are shamed, judged and shunned. Worse still, survivors of conflict related sexual violence are not regarded as mainstream victims because their scars are not visible. They called on the government to protect all from all corners of the country should be protected from any form sexual violence that may be committed by civilians or state security agents under the guise of security operations as had happened in 2007.

Speaking at the press conference the Head of Physicians for Human Rights Ms Christine Alai said they documented over 900 cases of sexual violence reported during the post-election violence with no case resulting to a conviction due to lack of evidence saying that justice continued to elude survivors of sexual violence. “The courts continue to drag their feet in prosecuting and convicting sexual violence offenders even in cases where evidence is available,” noted Alai

They called upon all Kenyans of goodwill to maintain PEACE before, during and after the August 8 elections. We urge for campaigns that are free from any form of violence.