Alarm as rapists now target elderly women

Cases of rape of elderly women are on the rise, an advocacy group has warned.

According to the programme officer for the gender-based violence recovery centre at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Ms Angelica Wagwa, the number of rape survivors aged above 60 is on the rise.

"50 per cent are elderly women, many of who report to hospital long after evidence of sexual assault has been destroyed,” said Ms Wagwa.

She said culprits were usually people well known to the survivors and relatives.

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“At least 10 defilement and rape cases are reported weekly at the facility, a trend that is worrying,” said Wagwa,

In the most recent case, an 87-year-old woman was raped and left for dead in a Kisumu slum.

According to the program officer, incidents of gang rape are also on rise.

In the past two months, the facility has treated several cases of gang rape.

County Woman representative Rosa Buyu appealed to the police to launch investigations into the incidents.

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“You cannot express power through rape,” said Buyu.

She accused some families of protecting rape suspects.

Nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga said the vice was being fuelled by drugs and alcohol.

“Rape is not normal and there’s a right to justice, families shield rapists interfering with evidence which is vital for prosecution,” said Nyamunga.

County director gender affairs Jane Obiero said the department will spend Sh30 million to put up safe houses for victims of sexual violence.

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