Orphaned girls in Kenya are extremely vulnerable and at high risk for sexual assault. Makindu Children's Program offers legal counsel, advocacy, mental and physical healthcare, and trauma support to child victims of sexual assault. This project will help provide much needed social support to Sofia and other victims like her, in navigating through the slow and painful legal process to bring perpetrators in Kenya to justice.
Orphans in Kenya are at extreme risk for sexual assault and most rape cases involve a family member. Sofia was raped by her uncle and unfortunately conceived. Reporting rape crimes is discouraged by many families because the men are the bread winners of the families. Victims often fail to receive medical care or counseling for the assault and do not have the education or support to navigate the legal system. Sofia and her child will receive all care necessary to heal from her assault.
Makindu Children's Program has reported the assault to the police, and will ensure Sofia and her child receive necessary medical care, trauma support and crisis intervention. Sofia had been living in the same house as her uncle and so we have placed her in a safe house. We will cover her education and medical expenses during the legal process. A social advocate has been assigned to Sofia and will assist and accompany her in the legal process and in court appearances.
As more girls receive the support needed to successfully convict and imprison their perpetrators, the Kenyan social perception of "who is at fault" slowly leans away from the victim and instead toward the perpetrator. Ten years ago, it was almost unheard of for an orphaned girl to win a case against her rapist. Today, times are changing, and Makindu has helped convict and imprison for life two perpetrators, with more cases (and hopefully more convictions) in the system.