Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Kenyan Horror Movie

Just when you think you’ve heard everything and the world couldn’t possibly vomit out something worse… you read the newspapers.

This week 1000 Kenyan teachers have been dismissed on charges of sexual abuse, which occurred over the past 2 years. Last year, 600 male teachers were dismissed and so far this year 550 teachers have lost their jobs for either kissing, touching or impregnating girls out a total teaching staff of 240,000 countrywide. Although Most of the cases have occurred in rural primary schools, the problem is a countrywide one.

In one school a children’s rights NGO found that, over 20 girls were pregnant and nearly half the number were actually impregnated by the teachers themselves. According to the NGO the biggest problem is the lack of proper reporting that could result in convictions and often teachers who are caught defiling their students end up paying the parents in order to prevent cases going to court. In this year's report of abuse in relation to Kenyan children, sexual violence topped the list at 86 percent.

This is not to say the rest of the world is any better on child abuse statistics however the Kenyan government has elected to go transparent and set up networks as well as countrywide help-lines to assist the victims and their families as well as to de-stigmatise those who do step forward.

This raises a question of mistaken identity. Often we tell children to be weary of strangers and even in grade school kids are taught ‘stranger danger’, but how is this relevant when they’re being abused by the very people who are suppose to protect, motivate, educate and empower them?


Ridwan said...

This is indeed a horrible reality that place out elsewhere too.

Here in South Africa the problem exists too but I am unaware of the size in terms of statistics.

It is not unusual though to come across stories about teachers impregnating their students, or raping their students.

Rape is violence and South Africa is a violent country.

Excellent blog!


Ridwan said...

Oops. That fist sentence should read: "a horrible reality that plays out elsewhere too."

Monday morning :)


desert demons said...

yep you're right child abuse figures internationally have hit the roof however with the myths about child witches and curing AIDS by having sex with a virgin I guess Africa has been hit much harder.

Thanx for the visit the demon is in awe of the resources of the various struggles many have never even heard of on the other blog you are part of keep it up!

Aluta continua

formerly fun said...

The problem is rampant in the US too. I remember the statistic that by the time a girl is 19, 9 out of 10 will have been molested or raped in some fashion. I think a lot of it is how our cultures as a whole view women. We also condition kids to listen to authority figures without question. I have tried with my girls to let them have the space that is their bodies, if they don't feel like giving grandma a hug, then I don't make them and we talk frequently, specifically about what other adults, even family, are allowed and not allowed to do. It hasn't scared them as some people fear. Because you never know who the predator will be, they need to be armed with real info that can help them and not just a fear of strangers offering candy.

Thanks for the info on Kenya, I was unaware the problem was that big.