2020 - Ongoing
Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya
Rape and sexual violence against young girls is a massive problem in Kenya.
When the national Ministry of Labour and Social Protection in 2019 questioned teenage girls (13-17 years), almost one in seven said they had experienced sexual violence within the past year. Of the girls who had ever had sex, one third of them said their first sexual experience was pressured or physically forced. The consequences reported are serious: teenage pregnancies as a result of assaults, girls missing out on school, mental distress and thoughts of suicide.
The Maisha safe house in Nairobi, Kenya, is a place where a small number of these teenage girls are being rescued. A home where they can begin to feel safe, regain strength, help each other and build dreams for the future. A new beginning.
The girls often come from the slums in Nairobi. Many have been abused by someone in the family or by someone in their closest environment. Some of the girls fear for their lives, as the families are ashamed of what has happened and will do anything to prevent the truth from coming out. For others, the assault has also left them with a baby to raise and keep safe.
What is Kenya’s problem is also the problem of a continent that by 2100 will make up half the world’s population. According to a WHO-study almost half the women of Africa experience violence and/or sexual violence making Africa the most dangerous region for women in the world. Various analyses have stressed the social and economic benefits of ending the violence and empowering Africas women.