Pain of gang rape and pregnancy - Daily Nation

Pain of gang rape and pregnancy in post-election violence

Saturday June 23 2018

Rape victim

An image of a rape victim. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PAULINE KAIRU
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Gertrude, 46, from Cheptais in Mt Elgon

It was March 21, 2008, and violence was still continuing in parts of the Rift Valley and Western Kenya in the wake of the disputed presidential election of December 27, 2007.

Most men in her village had gone into hiding or had been arrested.

“At around midday, a group of men in military uniform came to my compound. They dragged me into the house, beat me up and sexually assaulted me. There must have been around six men, all taking turns,” she recalls.

She tried to scream but her attackers beat her more.

When they left, she remained in pain on the floor of her hut wishing she could die.

“My entire body was in pain,” she says.

PREGNANT

A neighbour later cleaned her and took her to a hospital. She was ad-mitted for eight days. She had been focused on healing that she did not notice the first signs that she was pregnant.

“I think I was three months pregnant when I realised,” she says.

She sunk into more anguish on the new discovery.

When her husband returned four months later and found her pregnant, her life turned into that of torture.

"He went drinking every day and came home to beat me up until I had to escape,” she says.

December 22, 2008, her due date, found her seeking refuge from home to home.

Having been treated for fistula, her son’s birth was the most excruciating.

Now her life and that of her son are fraught with danger.

“I went back home because I had other children but I have not known such pain. He beats us every day. He calls my son ‘the son of a dog’.

Her son has to hide every time he sees him.

“I have thought of poisoning him. He is a constant reminder of a wretched deed that I would rather forget,” she says.