Rape Is Not A Misdemeanor, Nor Is Cutting Grass Punishment For It

by
Abby Zimet

Women in Kenya are fighting back after one of too many rapes in a country where up to 8 of ten females are victims of sexual violence. Over a million people have signed a petition demanding justice for a 16-year-old schoolgirl who, on her way home from her grandfather's funeral, was attacked by six men; they beat her, raped her and  threw her, bleeding, unconscious and with a broken back, into a sewage ditch. After villagers rounded up the perpetrators, they were brought to the police - who made them mow the grass around their compound and released them. The online petition, started by Kenyan activist Nebila Abdul Melik and publicised by the group Avaaz, is the latest move in a series of efforts to hold police and legislators accountable in a country where  girls or women live in fear of rape, which is said to occur every 30 minutes.

 

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