What you need to know:
- Last year, more than 107 cases of rape, defilement, incest and attempted rape were reported.
- County police commander Naomi Ichami says men also suffer sexual harassment and rape.
Rape and defilement cases in Bomet County have doubled in 12 months.
Of concern is the fact that defilement cases account for more than 80 per cent of all the crimes in the county. Cases filed at the Bomet and Sotik law courts reveal disturbing trends.
“Every month, 20 cases of rape and defilement are reported in the county in what is becoming a worrying trend,” said County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding.
“Administrators and police have been directed to work closely with Nyumba Kumi committee members, the clergy and elders to ensure the cases are reported, culprits arrested and prosecuted.”
Last year, more than 107 cases of rape, defilement, incest and attempted rape were reported.
In 2018, 63 cases ended up in court while in January to April 2019, 24 cases had been filed with the Judiciary.
Out of the cases from January 2018 to April 2019, 54 are about defilement, eight (indecent act), seven (rape), six (attempted rape), four (gang rape) and one (gang defilement).
Eight of the cases were withdrawn in 2018 with one acquittal while the others are in various stages of being heard, including one in which a man is facing a charge of incest and deliberate transmission of HIV to a girl living with disability. In the same year, three cases were heard and concluded.
In 2017, 34 cases were filed in Bomet, 24 of them defilement, four (rape), two (indecent assault), two (attempted defilement), two (incest) and one (attempted incest).
In 2018, the cases doubled. “The Judiciary is open to public engagements on the issues in order to raise awareness,” said outgoing Senior Principal Magistrate Pamela Achieng.
There is need to re-train doctors on how to handle gender-based violence when they seek treatment in health facilities, she added.
“It is devastating at times to see otherwise solid cases collapsing as a result of failure by doctors to appear and adduce evidence and some when they appear completely mess up the cases as they did not know exactly what they were looking for when examining victims of gender based violence,” said Ms Achieng.
There are instances where the victims have not been issued with medical reports (P3 forms) at police stations and hospitals, making it difficult for them to pursue their attackers.
According to records available at the court registry, suspects in defilement, rape, indecent assault and incest were sentenced to a cumulative 108 years in 2017 which also saw 10 suspects acquitted and 10 cases withdrawn out of which one was occasioned by the death of a suspect.
Three were separately handed life sentences for defilement. One suspect was sentenced to serve 20 years for defilement, another for 15 years (incest), one got 15 years for attempted incest, yet another was sentenced to 15 years for rape.
“We have cases where men are beaten up by their spouses but the cases are hushed up,” said Dr Joseph Sitonik, the county executive in charge of Medical and Health Services.
County police commander Naomi Ichami says men also suffer sexual harassment and rape.