Uproar, anger, disgust filled the minds and hearts of many Kenyans after a video went viral yesterday evening 7th of March 2022. In the clip, deafening screams of pain and anguish are heard from a woman, who is relentlessly being groped by multiple “riders.” The woman was over powered in her own car, after an “alleged traffic accident”.
The false sense of unity and brotherhood shared amongst some riders is actually a “mob mentality.” “I join other Kenyans in condemning the heinous and cruel acts of violence meted out against a young female motorist earlier today. I register my unequivocal voice in declaring the act cruel, inhumane and obsoleting of any sense of humanity. I hope that the perpetrators will be apprehended and processed through the criminal justice system in a systematic manner observing careful considerations of criminal investigation, prosecution and efficient judicial management of any preferred case in accordance with the tenets of the constitution and the rule of law,” read a statement shared by the Hon. Chief Justice Martha Koome.
There are deeper wounds that cut within the soul to understand its magnitude we spoke to a psychologist, “The healing will be a long process of psychosocial support. Social support involves family support, spiritual support, and emotional support. She will need intense trauma treatment which involves walking with a trauma counselor who is trained in understanding the psychological effects of trauma. One who understand the grief and loss process a victim of such assault. The process of resolving the loss she will have to live with. The loss of feelings of safety, trust, dignity, not to mention that the assault is open for all the world to know (internet).Though the viral video helps with the arrest of the perpetrators, she has to deal with the reality that the world saw her in her most vulnerable situation. This will be a tough one to navigate,” Grace Kariuki Family Therapist. All though the journey might be long for the lady to “bounce back” our Therapist assures us it’s possible to heal.
Kenyans from all social classes, genders and religions came together to condemn the heinous act. “It is time to raise our voices in ensuring that we don’t continue to quietly normalize and victim blame when it comes to Sexual Assault. It is time to roll up our sleeves and address the issue as it is, without fear of prejudice! Don’t wait to be invited, it is not a dinner table anymore, it is about the lives of people being affected! It is an ALL OF US PROBLEM! Let’s Act! #EndSexualAssault,” Cyndy Nyamolo Human Rights Activist.
In an internal survey, we asked women if they felt safe in Kenya. A shocking 73.33% of the respondents feel unsafe in their motherland. ”Walking around as a woman unaccompanied is an invitation to cause harm – whether physical, emotional, or psychological e.g. catcalling that quickly escalated to insults, unwelcome touches – generally assault. And the worst thing is knowing that even when reported, the question will always be “what did she do? Why was she…what kind of woman…?” Basically, it’s always the woman’s fault. We’ve normalized it and it scares me as a mother of girls. I struggle between protecting them while also not projecting these insecurities to them, because I don’t want them to grow up feeling like victims or afraid.,” Jane Cyber Security expert.
The key problem is the issue of morality, where did we drop the ball and how do we pick up our morals. “You are a priest and a king, and your priesthood and kingly dominion is to be manifested on earth. You are special. In God’s eye, the entire world is not worth an exchange for your soul. You are a pearl of great price. You are so valuable, that it cost God the blood of His only begotten Son, to redeem your soul from perdition. You mean so much to God, you matter a great deal to His eternal purpose. So, stop despising yourself,” Pastor Anastasia Kihwanga.
We can borrow one thing from the boda boda rider’s sense of brotherhood, all for one and one for all mentality. However this mentality should be backed up with truth, companion, fairness and Justice. In a world that’s already “evil”, share your kindness. With the arrest of the 16 suspects by the DCI. Will the move to regulate boda boda’s end this type of menace?