Photo: Times of India

Rape is an intentional and unlawful act that causes the penetration of the vagina or anus of another person with one’s genital organs without the other person’s consent to the penetration or if there is consent, then it is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind. More often than not when one is raped they become helpless. Life suddenly becomes unbearable and the thought of seeking justice is far-fetched. This happens because survivors suffer stigma and deep-seated psychological trauma that impairs their reason. such a person should be assisted to access the necessary remedies that include medical support, counseling services and justice. To get justice, the survivor or a representative should report the matter to the police station to commence legal action against the perpetrator. to ensure that a survivor gets justice, the following are the Dos/Don’ts that need to be adhered to:

 Don’t take a bath. 

Even though it is a natural reaction to want to wash, do not take a shower or bath as this may destroy vital evidence needed in your case.

Don’t Change Clothes

Do not change your clothes as these may carry blood, semen and other bodily fluid which can be used as evidence. If you have to change clothes, place them in a paper bag. DO NOT keep them in a PLASTIC BAG because plastic can encourage bacterial growth that tampers with the evidence, that is, semen or bloodstains. If you can manage, do not go to the toilet or brush your teeth. Traces of deposits of the perpetrator’s body fluids need to be intact. They are a source of crucial evidence that would be used in linking the suspect’s identity with the crime, through their Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA). 

Don’t drink alcohol– Impairs the Frame of Mind

Don’t drink any alcohol or take any medication before going to the police since this can influence the outcome of the medical examination, and you will also need to make a statement.

Get Social Assistance 

Contact a friend/family member you trust for support. The first person you tell about the rape is called the first witness. This person may need to make a statement to the police about your condition and if possible, should accompany you to the hospital/police station.

See a Doctor first

It is recommended that you visit the nearest clinic, hospital or doctor first. Going to the police station before a medic or health facility is discouraged as the police will still direct you to a health facility to ensure your health safety is taken care of first before attending to you. It is preferable to not visit a family doctor as he/she may not be trained for this type of medical investigation. The doctor must be willing to testify in court.

Report to the Police

Report to a police station and record a statement. Make sure you take with you the OB (Occurrence Book) number.

At this point, your physical and mental health will be out of danger and the law shall be taking its course and hopefully bring the suspected perpetrator to book. To help break the silence on rape and other instances of human rights violation, call for free on 0800724500 or contact these numbers for help; Childline Kenya-116 and Health Assistance Kenya-1195.