Address hidden tragedy that is sexual violence

Sexual violence

Rape, the most heinous manifestation of sexual violence, remains a vastly underreported crime in our country.

Photo credit: Pool

In the depths of our society, an unspeakable tragedy unfolds behind closed doors: The epidemic of sexual violence against women. It is a scourge that thrives in silence, hidden by shame, fear, and a pervasive culture of impunity.

Recent revelations have once again brought this issue to the forefront, shedding light on the grim reality faced by countless women across the country.

Rape, the most heinous manifestation of sexual violence, remains a vastly underreported crime in our country.

According to a report by CSI Nairobi, only a minuscule fraction of cases are ever brought to the attention of authorities, painting a distorted picture of the true scale.

The stigma and trauma associated with rape often leave victims feeling isolated and powerless, with many choosing to suffer in silence rather than seek justice.

One particularly disturbing incident occurred in Bomet County, where a woman fell victim to the brutality of seven men. This horrific act, though shocking, is sadly not an isolated incident. It serves as a stark reminder of the pervasive nature of sexual violence and the urgent need for action.

Consider the chilling account of a young woman, whose innocence was shattered at a college party. Despite her attempts to resist, she found herself overpowered by a classmate, while his roommates callously looked on.

The psychological scars of such trauma are profound and enduring, casting a shadow over every aspect of her life. Tragically, her story is not unique, echoing the experiences of countless women who have fallen victim to the horrors of sexual violence.

The aftermath of rape is a harrowing journey fraught with pain, shame, and uncertainty. Many survivors are left grappling with feelings of self-blame and worthlessness, haunted by the memories of their ordeal.

Confront the root causes

Central to this effort is the need to confront the root causes of sexual violence and dismantle the culture of impunity that enables it to thrive.

Victim-blaming and trivialisation of assault only serve to perpetuate a cycle of violence, silencing the voices of survivors and emboldening perpetrators. It is imperative that we challenge these harmful attitudes and hold perpetrators accountable.

Moreover, we must strive to create a culture of enthusiastic consent, where mutual respect and understanding form the foundation of healthy relationships. This requires a collective effort from all members of society, to challenge harmful stereotypes and promote a culture of respect and equality.

As a society, we cannot afford to remain silent in the face of such pervasive injustice. We must stand together, united in our determination to end the scourge of sexual violence and ensure that every individual is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. Only then can we truly say that we have achieved a society where all are free from the fear of violence and oppression

- Dr Koech, PhD, a business administration expert, is a board member at Association of Women Accountants Kenya. [email protected].