Sexual gender based violence (GBV) has since time immemorial been known to be a preserve of men, with women being on the receiving end.
But not anymore: In Kisumu County roles have changed and women are fast picking from where men left as far as sexual abuse goes.
In a recent forum held by Collaborative Centre for Gender and Development in Kisumu, it emerged that there has been an increase in sexual violence against men in Kisumu town.
The meeting brought together stakeholders from various security organs, health workers and non-governmental organisations inclined to counter GBV.
A nurse working at the New Nyanza Provincial Hospital narrated how a man recently visited the facility at 8pm asking for Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), usually administered to rape victims who are at risk of contracting HIV/Aids.
The man, who looked desperate, told the health practitioner dealing with gender based violence issues he had been raped by three women. He feared he was at risk of contracting the dreaded virus.
He told the nurses he was from playing football and was headed home when he met with his attackers. The victim, who lives in Mamboleo Estate in the town, alighted from a matatu and took the lonely path, only to be ambushed by the women.
Before he could think of the next step to take after his instincts warned him that something was amiss, the trio emerged from the bushes nearby and raped him.
Oblivious of danger
Collaborative Centre for Gender and Development Research Coordinator Mediatrix Tuju says: “It is shocking that the hunter has become the hunted. It is unbelievable that women rape men,” she says.
James Oloo (not his real name) is an electrician in Kisumu town mostly undertaking tasks in secondary schools. One day, as he was going about his business, he received a call form the principal of a girls’ school.
He says he went to the school and was directed to where there was an electric fault in the school kitchen, which he was meant correct.
He narrates that before he started his work, the principal told him to ensure he went back to her office before leaving because she had an important matter to discuss with him.
Mr Oloo says he did just that as soon as he was done.
“On arrival at her office, she locked the door and started caressing me. I tried to resist, but she overpowered me. I had sex with her several times,” he says bitterly. The elderly woman, he says, then drove him home and gave him Sh2,000.
While other women do it openly, some lace their victims’ drinks before raping them, as a victim told The Standard On Saturday.
Another incident occurred early this month during re-opening of schools. A schoolboy who resides in Kakamega was waiting for a vehicle to Kisumu, where his school is.
Vehicles were scarce and fares had been hiked, as is the norm during school opening and closing days. As he stood on the roadside, a flashy car stopped next to him and a beautiful woman came out.
Looking concerned, she asked the student where he was headed to. “Please get inside. I will give you a lift because I am also headed to Kisumu,” the lady said. The boy says he got in thanking his stars that he had landed a lift from a kind woman.
The woman offered the boy some snacks and oblivious of the danger he was in, took the edibles. All he can remember is finding himself dumped the following day at a gate in Milimani estate within Kisumu Town. He had pain in his private parts.
Another man told The Standard On Saturday he met a woman who had been admiring him in a supermarket. After exchanging pleasantries, she asked him to join her for a drink at a restaurant.
All the man recalls is finding himself in a lodging the following day.
A police officer dealing with GBV incidences that spoke on anonymously because she is not allowed to speak to the media, says she once received information that a man who had been sexually abused was yelling for help.
“I rushed to a lodge on the beer-belt area of Kisumu Bus Park and found a man naked, screaming and erect,” she says.
Apparently, the man had indulged in alcohol and decided to pick a twilight girl to complete his night. But instead of him drugging the girl as is common in the area, the woman timed him when he went for a short call and laced his drink.
“He said his body started reacting and the woman stripped him and raped him several times,” says the police officer.
The police took him to the hospital while still erect, where he was admitted for two days. The prostitute also stole his phone and money.
“He refused to give us his contact and never came to the police station after healing to record a statement,” she says. Because of this reason, MenEngage Kenya Network (MenKen) intends to spend over 20 million in mobilising over two million people in Western Kenya Region against the general practice of GBV.
MenKen National Coordinator Fredrick Nyagah says their main target will be Manyatta and Nyakach in Kisumu County after they conducted a Baseline Survey on GBV in the areas.
He says the community mobilisation in the key areas of the study will be conducted to bring positive change. The survey indicates that several people have still not been reached with messages of GBV awareness.