What you need to know:
- Some of her relatives started blaming her for the rape.
- Nuria now fears for her life, saying her rapist could harm or kill her.
Ms Nuria Abdi (not her real name) was heading home on the night of September 22 last year when she was attacked and raped in a dark alley about 400 metres from her house in Isiolo town.
The 30-year-old businesswoman had been trapped in a club after the 9pm curfew, and had to wait until police officers patrolling the area left before she could head home.
She was overwhelmed by the heavily built man, whom she had seen at the club moments earlier. He dragged her to a nearby bush along the road that leads to Kambi ya Juu.
“I initially thought he wanted to rob me but realised he had ulterior motives when he grabbed my breasts. All this while, I struggled to free myself but he overpowered me,” she recounted.
The attacker used Nuria’s dreadlocks to strangle her so that she could not scream. After several minutes of struggle, the man removed a knife from his jacket and stabbed her on the left shoulder before tearing her jumpsuit.
He then stabbed her several times on the thighs and legs, held tightly onto her hands then raped her before fleeing, leaving her writhing in pain and bleeding profusely. He also stole her mobile phone and house keys.
Fortunately for the distressed Nuria, a boda-boda rider passed by and rushed her to Isiolo Referral Hospital.
“He was initially reluctant to take me to the hospital because I was naked,” Nuria told Nation. A Good Samaritan gave her a leso to cover herself with after watchmen at the gate refused to let her through while she was naked.
Shockingly, medics at the hospital refused to attend to her as she had not reported the matter to the police.
“I waited for close to 20 minutes unattended as the nurses insisted I get report the crime first. I feared I could have been infected with HIV,” she said.
Worse still, Nuria, after physical examination and tests, was misguidedly placed on anti-retroviral drugs instead of the Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) only to be informed later by a doctor at the hospital that she had been taking wrong drugs.
PEP prevents HIV infection after exposure. The incident was reported at Isiolo Police Station under OB number 25/23/9/2020. Her post-rape care form was prepared by Mr Wallace Karithi while P3 form by Mr David Ogamba.
Following the ugly encounter at the hospital, Nuria often missed the trauma counselling sessions that ran for two hours at the hospital and chose the tele-counselling offered through the National Gender-based Violence toll free 1195.
Back home, she stayed indoors and slid into depression. Some of her relatives started blaming her for the rape. She started experiencing sleeping difficulties and having nightmares. She contemplated suicide on four occasions.
After two months, she decided to reach out to GBV activists in Isiolo but help was not forthcoming. Her last option, Ms Rosaline Gollo, the founder of Waso Hope Community-Based Organisation got her enrolled in a programme run by Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (Creaw).
All that while, the perpetrator was still free despite the matter having been reported to the police. Nuria decided to seek help from the local Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) office. Detectives tracked him to Ndaragua in Nyandarua County where he had gone into hiding.
Seven months after the incident, police are yet to arrest the man, whose family lives in Isiolo and are known business people.
“I have been going to the police station every week but they keep telling me to wait,” the survivor said.
Surprisingly, her stolen phone was reportedly recovered in Voi, Taita Taveta but the M-Pesa attendant who had it was not arrested.
Nuria now fears for her life, saying her rapist could harm or kill her to evade justice.