Getting justice for male rape victims is not easy either, given the society’s perception towards this type of rape. Men raped by women are subjected to social and legal double standards.
The number of sexual violence victims reported to authorities rose from 186 in 2001 to 2,532 in 2012, according to an annual report by the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC).
But whereas women and girls bear the heaviest brunt of sexual and physical violence, the report shows that men and boys are increasingly falling victim to rape, with 26 (men) and 29 (boys) cases being reported in 2012.
Though these cases involves rape by fellow men, whether some men are assaulted by women remains a subject of fierce debate, with most men saying it is not possible for a woman to rape a man.
“How does that even happen?” wonders Charles Ogot, a 27-year-old city resident. “It is just not possible for a man to get aroused when under duress.”
Yet, men can indeed be raped by women. In 2011, police in Zimbabwe charged three women who had been found in possession of 33 used condoms, with 17 counts of aggravated indecent assault. The women were arrested with the ‘rubbers’ 300 kilometres south of Harare when their car was involved in an accident.
For two years, before the famous arrest, women in Zimbabwe had targeted male hitchhikers whom they drugged and extracted semen from.
At least 17 men positively identified the women who had assaulted them in a Harare court. One victim reported that after the rape, some women demanded that they cuddle and talk.
“Most of the men said the women would offer them spiked drinks or force them to have sex at gunpoint,” reported CNN.
A Zimbabwean sociology professor told CNN that the harvested semen was used for ritual purposes. “The thinking is that it can be used for regeneration of life, since they are a source of life (biologically). Some people think that they can ward off bad by using semen. I am sure that explains all what we have been witnessing.”
Catherine Mbaum, a counselling psychologist with Arise Couselling Service, says there is little difference between male and female rapists.
“Male rapists are aroused by inflicting fear on women. So, women are no exception. It is a pathological way of seeking sexual satisfaction. Alternatively, the women could have been raped when young and vowed never to be victims again. They rape before they are raped,” says Mbaum.
The psychologist also noted that a man can be raped by his wife, although there are no studies to establish that. She says that, “It could happen with couples who have gone for long without sex. The woman could ‘rape’ the man, if only to win him back. But she would have to be a very dominant partner in the relationship.”
Women on the prowl
Locally, it is house helps who have been accused of raping and sexually molesting boys under their charge. In April, The Nairobian reported that Naomi Bonareri had been charged in court for infecting her employer’s seven-year-old son with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) after working with the family for only two months.
Her employer, Njeri Kinyanjui, was desperate, and needed someone to look after her child and do chores as she went about her business.
The family lived in Juja. Her son started complaining of pain when passing urine and when he was tested, he was diagnosed with an STI.
Doctors at The Aga Khan Hospital said he was suffering from a rare STI that combines different types of bacteria. The boy narrated how the house help would force him into the bathroom as she showered and tell him to stare at her naked body. She would then take him to the bedroom and defile him.
While incidents of adult women raping men are not commonly reported, Gerald Otieno*, a 26-year-old intern, claims to have had non-consensual sex with a female stranger he met in a club along Moi Avenue.
“I was drunk and I don’t remember what happened. But I know I was more ‘stoned’ than she was. In the morning, I realised we had unprotected sex and I had to run to the hospital for drugs,” says Otieno.
Otieno claims that a number of his peers have been led on by women and made to have sex against their wish and that this would be deemed as statutory rape if the victims were female.
Evans Munene, a freelance journalist, says he also was groped and his member nearly hurt by a waitress in a strip club.