Blaming the victim

While I was as far away from a computer as I could, the Daily Nation published an article I wrote about how rape is about the only crime where the victim is blamed perhaps more than the perpetrator. It was published on the 6th April and was a DN2 cover story.

I was prompted to write this story after reading about the rape victim of a Kenyan MP whose story appeared in the front pages of all leading papers in Kenya and follow-up stories that evoked comments suggesting that the woman was to blame in some way or another for what happened to her.

Woman alleges rape in MP’s private office #ImentiCentralMPPolice are investigating Imenti…

Posted by DAILY NATION on Sunday, March 22, 2015

A female member of parliament also gave her bit of advice …

MP blames women

She later retracted and said she was not blaming women for rape – perhaps she was misquoted….

I looked at the Kenya national bureau of statistics crime data from 2007-2012 and made this simple graph…

Rape-defilement KNBS

Whereas the rate of reporting of defilement has gone up since Njoki Ndungu’s sexual offense bill, the rate of reporting for rape has not. I believe it is because women know they will too often be blamed for ‘allowing’ themselves to get raped – although young girls are also blamed if they are raped, as I wrote in my article, it is even worse for grown women.