, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 27 – The Nairobi Women’s Hospital has recorded an increase in the number of gang rape cases being recorded at its Gender Based Violence Recovery Center (GBVRC).
GBVRC Executive Director Teresa Omondi said 143 gang rape cases had been recorded between April 2009 and March 2010. This compares to 56 cases that had been recorded between April 2008 and March 2009.
She said the size of the gang had also increased with the largest reported gang comprising 20 men, up from 11.
“This form of violation does not have shame for age. We’ve had cases as old as an 80-year-old woman gang raped by 10 men; our youngest case being a one-month-old baby girl who was defiled by her father and the oldest being a 105 year old woman raped by a 24-year-old man,” she said.
The attacks mostly occur in public places like the Nairobi city centre, and recreational facilities like Arboretum and Uhuru Park.
Ms Omondi said the increase in the number of attacks was hampering HIV/AIDS prevention measures and also questioning the moral values of the Kenyan society.
“When you have a survivor saying she was raped by 20 men, then that alone tells you that our efforts of fighting HIV are just losing battles because in most of these cases no protection is used. If the victim was living with AIDS what does that translate to?” she quipped.
The GBVRC Executive Director revealed that attacks in Nairobi streets occurred mostly in the upper parts of the Central Business District.
“These attacks do not just happen in streets that you would imagine such as Luthuli or some other hidden street. We even have cases in places like Loita Street probably due to the number of entertainment spots in the area. Attacks in recreational parks such as Uhuru Park and the Arboretum are also worrying representing 21 percent of the number of attacks received by the center,” she said.
Nairobi Women’s Hospital Group Chief Executive Officer Sam Thenya said the hospital would by the end of the year open two more branches in Ongata Rongai and Mombasa with a view of spreading its services.
“There are other cases of GBV cases in places far from Nairobi but with the new hospitals and GBVRC centers more patients will receive adequate healthcare. We also plan to have our footprints in Eastern African countries by 2015,” he said.
Of the 2,487 survivors of gender based violence, 85 percent were rape and defilement cases while 15 percent were domestic violence cases. 47 percent were women, 45 percent were girls, five percent were boys while three percent were men.
In addition 1,403 survivors of GBV reported that that the offenders were known to them while 1,084 said their attackers were unknown.