Thursday, December 19, 2013

The world’s worst punishment for rape?

Dear mates,

16 year old Liz was walking home from her grandfather’s funeral when she was ambushed by six men who took turns raping her and then threw her unconscious body down a 6-meter toilet pit. Their punishment? Police had them mow their station lawn, then let them go free!

Liz’s horror story has sent shockwaves through Kenya and now politicians and the police are under pressure to respond. But women's groups in Kenya say nothing will truly change unless the government is put under the global spotlight. They are calling on us urgently to help ensure justice is done and that Liz’s nightmare marks a turning-point in Kenya’s rape epidemic.

Nobody has been brought to justice -- not the rapists, and not the police. Today, we change that. Let's stand with Liz right now, before her attackers and the police escape. Click below to get justice for Liz and help make sure no girl anywhere suffers this violence:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/justice_for_liz_nm_nov_20/?bxbcAgb&v=32787

According to the girl’s mother, after they were set free, the rapists returned to Liz’s home to taunt the family. They acted like they were above the law, and they had good reason to think so. Instead of supporting a victim reporting a crime, the police forced Liz to sweep their office, logged her attack as mere "assault", and asked her mother to "clean her up", destroying key forensic evidence. More than four months later, she's still in hospital and can barely walk. Yet only one of the six men has been held, and only on weak charges.

Liz’s story is an extreme example of a much bigger problem. In Kenya, two thirds of school girls and half of school boys have been sexually abused. And earlier this year, a landmark court ruling found police guilty of failing to do their jobs and ordered them to uphold Kenya’s strict anti-rape laws. Rape is illegal everywhere, but too often these laws are just not enforced by the men charged with protecting our daughters. Beginning with Liz, we can change that.

The police claim that they don’t have the money or training to uphold the law. But you don’t need much training to know that cutting the grass is no punishment for rape. If we can help ensure these rapists and police are held to account, we can set a precedent that will compel police to treat rape as a serious crime, not a misdemeanour. Sign up now for justice for Liz and to help end the war on girls:  


http://www.avaaz.org/en/justice_for_liz_nm_nov_20/?bxbcAgb&v=32787

Avaaz members have a track record for standing up against rape all over the world -- we recently got the Indian government to commit to a multi-billion rupee national education campaign to combat the problem there. While we can never undo what happened to Liz, we can keep it from happening again. Let’s do it.

With hope and determination, 
David, Anne, Sam, Bissan, Oli, Ricken, Emily and the whole Avaaz team 

PS: Liz is a pseudonym given by the news outlet that broke her story and has since been widely used. She is not pictured here.

PPS: This campaign was started by a member of our community in Kenya. Start yours now and win on any issue - local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=23917


SOURCES

Brave Busia girl battles as her rapists go scot free (The Daily Nation)
http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/DN2/When-rapists-go-scot-free/-/957860/2022572/-/skd9s8z/-/index.html
Miscarriage of justice in brutal gang rape case shines spotlight on Kenyan police (Sabahi Online)
http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/features/2013/10/18/feature-02 

Suspect charged with hurting raped minor (The Daily Nation)
http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Suspect-charged-with-hurting-raped-minor/-/1056/2075074/-/cqcoddz/-/index.html
Police wrap up probe into girl’s gang rape (The Daily Nation)
http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Police-wrap-up-probe-into-girls-gang-rape/-/1056/2035702/-/format/xhtml/-/4rdyo/-/index.html  

After Kenya’s landmark rape decision, all eyes on the police (Globe and Mail)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/after-kenyas-landmark-rape-decision-all-eyes-fall-on-the-police/article13545136/

Kenyan Rape Victims Seek Compensation (IWPR)
http://iwpr.net/report-news/kenyan-rape-victims-seek-compensation

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