NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14 – Maendeleo ya Wanaume Organisation (MAWE) Chairman Nderitu Njoka on Tuesday said 200 boys are sexually harassed daily but only 10 cases are reported.
Speaking in Nyeri when he released findings of research conducted between April last year and January this year, Njoka said seven out of 10 men experience physical and emotional violence.
“I therefore raise a red flag to mark this black day. It’s a sad state of affairs for men and boys in Kenya. When we are talking of about 200 boys being defiled daily across the country, we are talking about rape by boys against fellow boys,” he cautioned.
He said it was unfortunate that despite the alarming numbers, the government had not addressed the challenge.
It was his complaint that the Sexual Offenses Act lays emphasis only on protecting girls and women against rape while boys and men are left out.
“It is happening in our secondary schools, it is happening in prisons; it is happening even out of school and boys are being assaulted and they are suffering in silence because they have nowhere to go and report,” Njoka claimed.
However, the Sexual Offences Act as enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution includes both men and women where it states; “Any person who attempts to unlawfully and intentionally commit an act which causes penetration with his or her genital organs is guilty of the offence of attempted rape and is liable upon conviction for imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may be enhanced to imprisonment for life.”
Among the counties mapped in the research where 2,000 respondents were interviewed include Nairobi, Kiambu, Meru, Homabay, Nakuru and Nyeri.
Njoka wants the government to declare boy-child neglect a disaster and affirmative action introduced to motivate high school boys and protect them against the wide forms of harassment.
He also wants sexual harassment of boys and men addressed socially and legally.