We took to the street for justice and protection for survivors of sexual violence

December 22, 2022by CREAW

Under the bright Nairobi sun, women and men from all walks of life convened at the entrance of Uhuru Park on the 9th December 2022 with a clear vision. On that day, the voices of survivors were to be heard loud  and clear.

The peaceful march organised by CREAW and supported by like-minded Women Rights Organisations was a culmination of a continued 16 days of Activism campaign to educate the public on sexual offences and address the state on protection of survivors of sexual violence.

With the recent rulings by several judges declaring minimum mandatory sentencing for sexual offences as unconstitutional, these judgments not only failed to take a survivor-centered approach but also grant judicial officers unfettered discretion to issue sentences for sexual offences.

This has resulted in numerous applications for resentencing by convicts in courts countrywide. It rolls back on the gains made by women rights movements over the years to ensure that gender-based violence is treated with the urgency and seriousness it deserves. It will also embolden perpetrators who will no longer be deterred by the law.

On the day of the march, we had supporters who were survivors of sexual violence, families of survivors, organisations that support them and members of the public march through the streets of Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. The over 400 people strong protest brought traffic in the Central Business District to a standstill as women and men alike cried out for justice and protection all the way to the Supreme Court.

The message was clear; End secondary victimisation and retraumatisation of survivors, voices of survivors need to be heard, survivors have a right to effective remedy, protect survivors.

From left to right: Centre for Rights Education and Awareness Executive Director Ms. Wangechi Wachira, Founder and Wangu Kanja Foundation Executive Director Wangu Kanja and Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi

Here the petition was read and presented to the Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi on behalf of the Chief Justice who assured the supporters that the Judiciary remains committed to dispense justice and accountable to those they serve.

It is the hope the petition will lead to the upholding of the minimum mandatory sentencing that will offer more protection to survivors and punish perpetrators. Even then, we as CREAW remain committed to pushing until the state fulfils its responsibilities to survivors of sexual violence.

Sign the Petition: https://chng.it/g9MLhZJ9

Download the Full Petition: http://home.creaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Petition-Comprehensive.pdf

Download the Abridged Version of the Petition: http://home.creaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Petition-Abridged-Version.pdf