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Sodomy cases overwhelm hospital

NAIROBI, September 2 – The Nairobi Women’s Hospital Tuesday raised concerns over increased cases of sodomy, mainly involving boys below 13 years of age.

Patient Services Manager, Rahab Ngugi told Capital News that over 100 cases had been reported in the hospital in the last eight months, majority of which are from Nairobi.

This translates into an average of 15 cases per month.

“We used to have less than three percent of all our cases as sodomy, now it’s gone up to 17 percent, so it’s a trend that is really worrying,” she noted of the sexual violence cases they receive.

“This is sodomy where over 70 percent is from within the home – either an uncle, a cousin or just somebody known to that child, it’s rarely a stranger.” 

She however noted that increased awareness could also have led to a swell in reported cases.

At the same time, Ngugi said close to 50 percent of the sexual violence cases received at the hospital involved children under the age of 18.

“The infants – children who are below five years – form about 11 percent of the cases, between six and 12 years form 12 percent and the teenagers, 13-19 years are about 18 percent,” she stated.

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Ngugi at the same time faulted some clauses in the Sexual Offences Act, saying that they deterred a number of rape survivors from making reports.

She said there are some survivors who are afraid they don’t have enough evidence to prove before a court of law that they were actually raped.

“For example there is a clause that says if a person accuses another person falsely about rape, the complainant could end up being jailed for the same length of time as the rapist would have been jailed.”

“That is being used by the police because there is a lot of corruption. And also a perpetrator can always threaten that, if you can’t prove I raped you, you will end up in jail.”

She however said there was still need to fast track the implementation of the Act to protect the rights of survivors.

“If the process of even getting a P3 form or getting a person arrested is so long, will people want to report, will they want to be embarrassed, will they want to stop their work to go and queue for a P3 for days?” Ngugi questioned.

The Sexual Offences Act was enacted in 2006, but is yet to be implemented.

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