Sexual Assault crimes are far more common than what official figures in Kenya – and the world beyond suggest. Many victims feel unable to report it for many reasons, common among them being – who will believe me?
Due to the intimate nature of events, the fear of not being believed, the guilt and shame that society makes survivors feel, and the trauma of the rape itself, many survivors feel that they cannot come forward.
The widespread and shameful social phenomenon where authorities and the public at large shift the attention from the criminal act of rape and sexual violence to focus on how the victim was dressed, where they were, at the time and how they’ve been “carrying themselves” is the biggest reason why rape victims are afraid of coming out.
Silence on rape is the major obstacle to prevention and elimination of sexual violence. This is precisely why Maxivan Biama Nelson of FABWIL foundation is advocating against rape by creating a platform where survivors of sexual violence can speak up and share their experiences with the intention of starting conversations that will find ways to address this terrible crime and eradicate stigma.
Speaking about this campaign on his Facebook page, Maxivan said,”Through this program – We aim to create awareness of rape culture, by providing information, giving people a platform to share their experiences and work toward finding a solution to this problem. We need to encourage everyone in the society to play a part in ending sexual violence and oppression by resisting the rape culture, supporting survivors, and challenging our institutions to help take measures against this hurtful culture.”
Some of the gains that are already made through this campaign include; a public forum that started the conversation and stories from brave survivors. Here are some of the experiences shared (screenshots)
To join this cause and contribute to bringing social change, attend the fashion gala and or keep the conversations going online using the hashtag #EndRapeCulture.
(photos courtesy of Kijiji Pictures)