In the month of October, CREAW case managers from Kamukunji organized a community forum in Shauri Moyo estate, Nairobi, to sensitise the community on Sexual Offences Act, Gender Based Violence and , Human and Children Rights and Steps to take when a rape/ defilement has occurred with referral mechanisms as stipulated by CREAW training manuals. During the training, the CREAW case managers informed the community participants that defilement is both way regardless of whether it is an adult male defiling a girl child or whether it is an adult female defiling a boy child. They engaged the participants largely on the issues and sought the community’s commitment to ending sexual related violations and abuses within themselves and outside their communities. It was only after the meeting, three days later, that the community became conscious of their long lived suspicion regarding a woman, an alcohol dealer, who had allegedly kept an orphan, 15 years old, whose parents had died. She had taken the orphan when his parents died and took him to provide support for him. Later, the neighbours had noted that she was abusing the child sexually. She had instead taken advantage of the child’ vulnerability and severally assaulted him sexually.
Led by Jane*, not her real name, who is a neighbour of the suspect, the participants in the CREAW community forums, rung CREAW case managers and informed them that they had made a civilian arrest as neighbours and community and had frogmarched the suspect who had allegedly been defiling the minor boy.The woman was taken to the chief’s camp. The community disagreed with the each other on whether she could be left at the camp based on the doubted credibility of the administration officers and the chief who they believe could not impact the arrest of the suspect on allegations of bribes by the suspect on her usual sale of illegal liquor within the estate.
Majority of the neighbours and the community, who were part of CREAW’s case managers training / community forums, insisted on taking the suspect to the gender desk in Shauri Moyo police station, and calling upon the Kamukunji case managers to assist with legal redress.
The case managers moved in swiftly and ensured the suspect was booked in and the matter mentioned in Makadara Law Courts pending a hearing date in January, 2013. The case managers are also tracking psycho social support for the victim from Biafra GBV Clinic in Eastleigh South Ward. They have indicated that the boy seemed traumatised and needed the support urgently. The boy was later taken by a relative for his own safety and to avoid manipulations of the case by the suspect.
This is one amongst several cases that CREAW case managers have managed to rescue and address within the CREAW targeted communities. The community forums held by CREAW and facilitated by case managers have proven a successful tool for stimulating and breaking the community’s silence on sexual and gender based violence, whilst enhancing the community response through reporting mechanisms provided by CREAW and legal institutions.