Cases of girls being defiled in Kilifi County have remained a thorny issue that has plunged them into challenges.
One good example is the case of two girls one aged 15 and the other one 16 years who revealed how they were defiled by old men in Magarini, Kilifi County.
According to one of the teenagers, an old man lured her with a movie before she was dragged into the bush and defiled.
The other one said she was defiled on the night of Christmas Eve in the man’s house up to 1 am in the morning.
Their tales are just some of the many cases of defilement, incest targeting minors not only in Magarini but in many parts of Kilifi County which once recorded an alarming increase in cases of teenage pregnancies up to more than 17,000.
Some of the victims normally do not open up or the survivors disappear after the issues are resolved secretly but with the effort of the Malindi Gender-Based Violence Network Organization many are now opening up and suspects are being arrested.
Jacinta Kambi(Not her real name) aged 16 years and in class five at Kanagoni primary still remembers the day a man he well knew from her area defiled her in the bush.
She recalled that it was on the 15th day in 2018 she left home with her young one and met a man who showed them a movie from his phone which they watched up to 9 pm.
Narrating her ordeal to journalists during the International Day of the Girl Child which was celebrated at Marereni Police station, she said immediately after they finished watching the movie the man told her to follow him to a nearby bush to have sex and would give her Sh100.
“When I went with him he removed my clothes and laid me down on the grass before doing the evil act,” she said.
Ms Charo said her mother later came after they had finished and found her alone as the man had escaped in the darkness.
She said they went with her mother to the man’s home but he had not yet arrived and after waiting for some time he came and dismissed claims that he had defiled the minor.
The young girl who aspires to be a doctor said they reported the matter to the village elder and then to the police station in Marereni and the man was eventually arrested.
To her for the man to be arrested and taken to court she hopes justice will prevail so that her case acts as an example to others with such awful behaviors in society.
Anita Njoki* aged 15 from Msumarini village in Magarini said she was defiled during Christmas eve last year.
Nuru said she had gone to the shopping center during the Christmas celebrations when a man she well knew lured her into sex and told her to go to his house.
That day she said at home the man told her to remove clothes and defiled her repeatedly until late in the night.
She said upon returning home her parents demanded to know where she had spent the night and upon revealing the suspect they went to the police station to report the matter.
“My father was told to fill in a P3 form and in July this year the suspect was arrested and taken to Malindi police station,’ she said adding that the matter was pending in court.
Her father James Kalama who has seven children including four girls and three boys said on a material day his daughter returned home at 1 am while he was asleep and in the morning he had to punish her to reveal where she had spent the night.
He said it is when that he revealed the name of the suspect who had defiled her, a person who is notorious for such behaviors in the area.
At one time Kalama said one time he wanted to take the law into his hands as the suspect was still in the area and no arrests had been made but Malindi GBV network officials told him to be patient until he was arrested.
“I would urge other parents with daughters who see them with such behaviors to report the matters to the police so that action is taken against the perpetrators,” he said.
Karisa Charo a village elder Muyu wa Kae who has been in the forefront in campaigning against the said last week they managed to rescue nine girls some of who were pregnant and wanted to be trafficked to Garissa to work as house helps.
He said the community needs a lot of sensitization so as to ensure girls are made aware that even getting pregnant is not the end of life as one can give birth and still return to class.
Charo said the community has a bad perception of him and he has been receiving threats due to his effort to save the girl child.
At one time he said a man attacked him and left him with serious injuries after he found out that he was the one following a case about his brother who have defiled a girl.
“many cases of defilement are done by bodaboda operat0ors, tappers and when you ask the girls why they ae lured into sex is because they have no money to buy some basic needs they require which calls for parents to ensure they take responsibility,” he said.
This year alone Charo said he has reported over 30 defilement and incest cases at Marereni police station including the nine where six were pregnant.
Ustadh Omar Said the Chairman of Malindi GBV Network said they sensitized the young girls against engaging in early sex as it could lead to teenage pregnancy that has been rampant in Kilifi county so as to complete their studies.
He said he was impressed to see a girl in Bomet Sub-county aged 24 who is the Deputy county commissioner which shows girls are able.
“We have established that here in Magarini there are many cases of incest, fathers engaging in sex with their children that’s why we decided to hold the celebrations in Marereni to sensitize the girls and community at large against the vice,” he said.
The Chairperson of Women on the move Against GBV, Helda Lameck said their campaign is to ensure that teenage girls get justice and are not defiled.
She said they have been conducting the rescue of girls who have been defiled and what they gather is that such girls are lured into sex in exchange for money as little as Sh. 50.
Lameck said through their sensitization the message has begun bearing fruits as parents and girls are beginning to learn that it is important to prevent such cases.
Apart from sensitization, she said they also gave out sanitary pads, sanitary towels, and other basic items such as soap for teenage girls.
She called on the county government to issue free sanitary pads to all girls the same way condoms are given for free.
*This article was written by Ramadhan Kambi for Uzalendo News. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your story.