Kenyan MP pleads over violence

December 18, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18- Nominated Member of Parliament Millie Odhiambo has said that the government must educate and prepare women and girls on what to do when they find themselves in violent situations.

Ms Odhiambo said when events like the post 2007 election violence in Kenya happen, women and girls find themselves in difficult situations perpetrated through rape and other forms of gender violence.

“You may need to negotiate with the rapist. It sounds ridiculous but it’s the reality,” she said.

“We must prepare women that in case you suddenly chance upon five men what do you do? They will rape you anyway so can you negotiate with them to wear a condom for protection especially in light of HIV/AIDS,” she added.

The nominated MP said when the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission begins its work, it must recognise the standards set by the Sexual Offences Act on victim protection and called for the formulation of a comprehensive law on victim protection.

“And it must deal with the issue of secondary victimisation for victims of violence and must acknowledge the victims’ pain and experiences that are unique to those of men for instance,” she said.

“It must also make provision for compensation of victims especially in cases of aggravated violence where for instance a person gets HIV/AIDS in the process,” she added.

The Kenyan chapter of the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Executive Director Patricia Nyaundi said sexual assault has always been used as a weapon of war and for revenge and this was more so during the post 2007 election violence.

“We must protect women against this form of violence and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book. It is tragic that those victims of sexual violence are again in the same instance the ones who are stigmatised,” Ms Nyaundi said.

The two were speaking during the launch of a documentation project on inter-linkages between HIV/AIDS and gender based violence during the post election violence in Kenya.

The project will see stories of women who suffered sexual assault and other forms of gender based violence during the post election crisis documented in a book as a historical record that can be used even by the International Criminal Court as evidence.


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