I was holding my phone wondering whether to redeem my Safaricom bonga points or ask for credit through the 131 system. As I was pondering what to do, Jane called. Jane (real name withheld) was violently attacked by her neighbour of four years who has on several occasion threatened to rape. Jane has on three occasion reported the matter to the village elders. Today – 30/1/2011 she called seeking assistance as the neighbour attempted to rape her but she managed to fight back and in the process sustained serious physical injuries. After listening to her case for three minutes, it dawned on me that she was using her credit to call and also she is traumatized and nursing some physical injuries. I disconnected her and redeemed 15 minutes from my Safaricom bonga points. I called her back and assured her to use all my community connections and contacts to help.
Immediately called the MSF France (Blue House) team for medical assistance in the process, I found myself calling more than 10 people in and three organization which included the local community policing chairman. After all these, I called her not to tamper with evidence of attack as it will be part of the evidence she informed me that, the neighbours had decided to rush her to a private clinic as she was serious bleeding. When we finished our conversation, I called a grass root human rights defender (HRD), Beatrice Caroli who responded with speed. She managed to link up with Jane at the private clinic to offered counselling and moral support. Beatrice later took Jane to the nearby police station. At the police station Jane recorded a statement and she was issued with OB number and told to return the following for tomorrow for P3 forms.
I was left wondering what will happen to her when she returns to her house while the rapist is still next door? This is when the law becomes a challenge; the rapist has to be subjected to due process of the law while tonight Jane will sleep waiting for justice. How long will it take? Jane like many other single women in Mathare live under constant and real threat of violence. -Simon