Disabled women protest increased violence

They will demonstrate in Machakos on Monday to protest against violence, murders of women with disability

In Summary

• They want DCI to swiftly solve murders and other criminal assaults against women with disabilities who also suffer stigma.

• Cases are seldom taken to court, witnesses don't want to testify, even to help their children and relatives.

Women living with disability to demonstrate in Machakos on Monday.
NO JUSTICE FOR DISABLED: Women living with disability to demonstrate in Machakos on Monday.

A physically disabled Machakos woman was sexually assaulted, murdered and her crutches were inserted into her private parts.

That happened last Wednesday, the latest in a series of assaults on helpless women living with a physical disability.

As a result, women living with disabilities will hold demonstrations in Machakos on Monday to protest against rising cases of violence against women with disabilities.

They call it a crisis.

Members of the United Disabled Persons of Kenya and Women Challenged to Challenge want the DCI to swiftly solve murders and other criminal assaults against women with disabilities.

They cited the assault and murder of a 37-year-old woman who lived alone in Kalama location. She was found naked on her bed on Wednesday morning last week, her crutches inserted into her private parts.

The body was found by relatives who live in the same compound. It was taken for a postmortem to Machakos Level 5 Hospital.

Police are investigating.

“Women with disabilities, just as all people in Kenya, have a right to be treated with dignity and respect,” Elizabeth Ombati said.

“We are greatly angered and alarmed at the recent spate of sexual and physical assaults including rape and murder of women with disabilities," she told a gathering.


They said a woman living with a disability in Busia county was gang-raped and killed in July last year.

A woman with a mental disability was sexually assaulted by her relatives in Nyandarua.

When the case came to light, the family decided to settle out of court.

“A deaf girl in Nyeri county, an orphan, was raped and the police have taken no action while the culprit, well known, has not been taken to custody,” Jane Kihungi from WCC said.

In another incident, a girl with mental disability from Nyahururu was gang-raped in 2015 and after long years of court processes with all the right supports, the case was thrown out of court for ‘lack of evidence’ early this year.

“This became one among the many cases where justice has eluded women and girls with disabilities. Indeed, the brutality of these acts of violence is only heartbreaking but also build up within our hearts. It's painful anger that cannot be expressed,” Kihungi said.

The women said that in most of the cases of sexual violence against women and girls with disabilities, few people want to testify in court.

“Cases come to court when they are weak and they are dismissed,” Kihungi added.

The women said that because of entrenched stigma against disabled people, many family members do not want to associate themselves with public enquiries about, despite the fact that the victims are their children or relatives.

Kihungi said when children with disabilities witness their peers being sexually assaulted, their word is not taken as credible evidence against the perpetrators.

"We must urgently address this crisis so that justice is accessible to women and girls with disabilities," Kihungi said.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)

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