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Government Should Support Community Activists Working to Protect Survivors

Gladys Koskey, 48, has always kept her home in Trans Mara, southwestern Kenya, open to friends and relatives. But in the past decade, her home has also become an important refuge for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Gladys leads a group of…
Gladys Koskey helps a nine-years-old rape survivor who lives in her home with her writing.
News
A Haitian woman was selling charcoal on the empty edges of her small town when a white, uniformed United Nations peacekeeper offered her a lift in his marked vehicle. He raped her shortly after she got in. “I could not fight back,” said Marie Badeau (a…
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I had already heard many disturbing stories of violence by the time I interviewed Mercy Maina, whose name I have changed to protect her privacy.  Even so, what Mercy told me was truly disturbing. She said she was raped during the post-…
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Widespread Sexual Violence during Kenya’s 2017 Elections

    Judith Wavinya*, 30, was walking home on a cool August night in her neighborhood of Dandora in Nairobi, after spending the evening with her sister. She had to get back home to her three children and to prepare for the new day –…
Judith Wavinya (not her real name), 30, was attacked by two men on the night of August 11, 2017, as she was walking home. They asked if she knew them, threatened her with knives, and took her to an isolated place where they beat her badly and one of them
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“Is there no justice for rape?” asked Jane, a young woman from Nairobi’s slums. “If police, who should be helping us, can just rape women and nothing is done to them, what will prevent men from continuing to rape us?” Jane (not her real name)…
Kenyan anti-riot police fire tear gas in Kisumu, Kenya, August 9, 2017. © 2017 Baz Ratner/Reuters
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President Uhuru Kenyatta two years ago announced a fund to help survivors of historical injustices in Kenya, including those who suffered gross human rights violations during the political violence of 2007-2008. Mr Kenyatta said…
Nafula K.,46, was gang raped together with three other women by four men in January 2008 while at an IDP camp.
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A year ago, the Kenyan government finally announced a fund to help survivors of the widespread violence in 2007 and 2008 tied to the disputed presidential election. It was the first sign of hope for the hundreds of women who were brutally raped…
Kamene F. stands outside her house in a slum in Nairobi with her 7-year-old son born from rape.
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Although it is more than eight years since hundreds of women were brutally raped during post-election violence in Kenya, the harrowing events of 2007/8 continue to affect survivors to this day. Destitute, in ill health and often…
Nafula K.,46, was gang raped together with three other women by four men in January 2008 while at an IDP camp.
News
Obstetric fistula is a ‘disease of poverty’ that still affects thousands of women all over Africa. But if the causes are properly addressed, it is preventable. I grew up in a small rural village in eastern Kenya. Like most children in my village, I loved…
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Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin and Anne Marie Coriolan were three of Haiti’s most forceful advocates for women’s rights. They established some of the few groups that helped Haitian women recover from domestic violence and rape, pursue justice and restart…
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It is easy to give up on Haiti reading through the litany of articles about where the country stands after two difficult years since the January 12, 2010 earthquake. In many ways, that was true even before the quake -- in the last five years, there have…
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I met Naomie, a 25-year-old mother, more than a year after the January 2010 earthquake destroyed Haiti's capital. She lost both her parents in the quake. In the months after the earthquake, Naomie made a new home in a tent camp with a man. One day he…
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As told by Liesl Gerntholtz and Meghan Rhoad It's mid-November, and we're weaving through the Champs de Mars camp. The tent city sits on the plaza before Haiti's collapsed Presidential Palace, a once majestic building that is now a heartbreaking…
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Two weeks ago, Natalie sat across from me in a crowded camp of displaced earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince, wrapped her arms around her pregnant belly, and told me the world needed to do something about rape in Haiti. Eight and a half months after…
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It was nighttime in Parc Marie Vincent when the five men grabbed her, Gentile told Human Rights Watch researchers. A few short weeks after losing her home in the earthquake, she was in a packed camp for the quake survivors when she was kidnapped, raped,…
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As told by Meghan Rhoad, women's rights researcher Nasra, a petite Somali woman wearing a navy blue hijab and long skirt, rocked her sleeping baby in her arms as she told me the story of how, two and a half weeks earlier, she had arrived here at Dadaab…
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Somalis fleeing the violence in their own country can expect only beatings, extortion and overcrowded refugee camps in Kenya

Shot at and raped. Arrested and beaten. Detained and deported. Extorted and robbed. Threatened and insulted. Ignored and shunned. The treatment of hardened criminals in some far-flung police state? The fate of political opponents by a repressive regime?…
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Driving through Port-au-Prince's Parc Jean Marie Vincent camp, the first thing I notice is how massive and congested it is. After that, the smell and the heat hit me. I had come to the camp to interview a young rape survivor, as part of a Human Rights…