- According to Vera, like other people in custody that night, they had to endure hours of being driven throughout the estate as the police made other arrests
- Many survivors may be reluctant to pursue medical attention immediately after a sexual assault mainly due to the fear of being judged
- Normally after an assault, most victims experience shock
Despite it being more than two years since Vera* was sexually assaulted, the events that took place that fateful Sunday June 2017 still remains fresh on her mind.
For this 22 year old, it is a case of being raped by people he knew. It all began on the night of Saturday June 17, 2017.
Then, she was only 20 years and working as a bar attendant at a small local club in Nairobi’s Embakasi estate.
“Apparently the club owner was operating without a license and so when the police came calling at around 9pm, and being the only one on duty at the time, I was arrested,” she explains.
According to Vera, like other people in custody that night, they had to endure hours of being driven throughout the estate as the police made other arrests.
“By the time we reached at the police station it was past midnight. But just before I was booked in, my boss came to bail me out,” she says.
According to her, in his car, her boss came with two other men; her co-workers at the bar. “Before I left the bar, I was a little tipsy, so when I got into the car I slept because I thought I was safe being with the men I knew,” she says.
But she would be in for a rude awakening the next morning. “The next day, at around 8am, still in my boss’s car, I was woken up by his wife. “Amka uvae nguo unatuaibisha,” which translates to "wake up, you’re embarrassing us,” she said.
At first, she says, she didn’t understand why she was that harsh until she looked at herself.
“I was in the front seat of the car. My trouser was pulled down and the lower part of my body was naked. My hoodie top I had on was unzipped and my chest bare. I was feeling enormous pain on my head and back but I couldn’t remember what happened,” she explains.
So she ordered me to get at the back seat and dress up. “She locked me inside the car. Still it didn’t come to my mind that I had been sexually assaulted, until I wanted to urinate and I felt immense pain and also saw my urine mixed with blood,” she adds.
Later on her boss together with her co-workers who were with him the previous night would come back.
“My efforts to demand what had happened to me that previous night fell on deaf ears as no one talked about it. Instead, they insisted on taking me somewhere else to bathe then drop me home. I was tired, stinking, bloody and vomiting thus I desperately agreed,” she explains.
She didn’t know she was getting rid of the evidence. She threw away her panty, but still remained with my bloodied trousers.
Afterwards she was taken home of which she slept through the night before going to the hospital the next day, which was on a Monday.
“I went to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital where it was confirmed that I was beaten up and raped, at least going by the vaginal bruises. I was put on medication,” she explains.