“I Just Sit and Wait to Die” – Reparations for Survivors of Kenya’s 2007-2008 Post-Election Sexual Violence

On January 25, 2008, during the explosion of post-election violence in Kenya, four men beat and brutally gang-raped Apiyo P., a 53-year-old mother of five. She told Human Rights Watch how the rape continues to affect her:

I am not at peace, my body is not the same. If I am pressed, urine just comes out. I feel weak. Sometimes I have a dirty-smelly discharge coming from my vagina. I feel pain in my lower abdomen. I have serious back ache…. I don’t have money to go to a big hospital. I have so much shame. I feel hopeless. I just sit and wait to die.

I have problems sleeping. Sometimes I can go to bed at 10 p.m., be up at 11:30 p.m., and not fall sleep again. I doze off a lot during the day. I think about the rape, my financial problems, and the death of my husband [in the violence]. I was running a clothes boutique business in Nakuru and I had good money. But now I have become a beggar. Sometimes I don’t have food. I don’t have any help from my family.

I came here to my father-in-law’s home after the violence and he gave me a plot of land to build. My brothers-in-law didn’t want me. The land was registered in my brother-in-law’s name and he wants the land back. I need help with land and a house for my children. I am just here in the village and I don’t know how to reach the government to ask for help.

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