- Gladwell Wanjiru Wachira when she went schooling at her uncle’s place after joining high school, where the uncle started sleeping with her
- Wachira said she could wake up late to go to school since her uncle used to drug every night before sleeping with her
- Wachira divulged that she told her parents but they sided with her uncle, she became so bitter with everyone, and she could engage in fights with anyone who crossed her way
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Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases have been on the rise in the country, with 40% of women likely to face it in their lifetime.
Uncle turn perpetrator
This is according to National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) report of 2016.
The statistics are categorical that such abuses are majorly meted by people close to the victims like relatives, neighbours, parents, guardians and even teachers.
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Gladwell Wanjiru Wachira is part of the people who suffered sexual abuse in the hands of a person she looked up for protection.
She told TUKO.co.ke that she was severally sedated and abused by her uncle, who was paying her high school fees immediately after she transitioned from primary school.
“It started when I was 16 years old. I could wake up at 9am and find myself in a mess when I am supposed to go to school. The sedatives he used on me made me unable to make to class at 6am as was required in the day school. This put me in the wrong books with the teachers,” she said.
She continued to be exploited by her guardian because she was afraid of sharing her ordeal with anyone fearing she would be chased and school fees halted.
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Even her parents did not believe her when she raised the matter to them, subjecting her to too much trauma.
After feeling she could not take it anymore, Wachira shared her ordeal with one lady who had raised concern about her lateness trend and state of being unsettled in school.
It is when she let the lady know that her uncle had fallen out with his wife, the latter having moved to live in another town.
” I told the lady what was happening to me and she asked me to let her know if it ever happens again. Unfortunately my uncle was at it again and I reported the incident to her. She in turn took me to hospital where it was proven that I had been sexually abused,” she narrated.
The 29-year-old woman said she went back home feeling bitter and was even offended when her parents still dismissed her ordeal.
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“I told my parents that my uncle was sleeping with me but they never believed me and this was because he used to pay my school fees and I just had to live with it,” she added.
Wachira divulged that after her parents sided with her uncle, she became so bitter with everyone, and she could engage in fights with anyone who crossed her way.
” I was bitter that I had to live with my uncle because he was paying my school fees and my parents never believed any bit of what was happening to me. I felt alone in the whole world,” she added.
After high school, she advanced her studies and joined a medical college but completely refused any help from her uncle.
She studied to be a lab technician, and after college, she landed a job in Migori county.
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While in Migori, Wachira met many sexually assaulted girls who reminded her of what she went through, and that is how she came up with the idea of establishing a rescue centre.
She started with 12 girls but currently accommodates 76 girls under her project called the butterfly project.
” I could meet like 12 girls per day who were being defiled and this was very painful, and nobody was there for them, I could listen to their stories and cry and i started thinking on how I can help the girls and that’s I when I decided to quit my job and started a rescue centre,” she started.
Her move inspired other women who had suffered sexual abuse who came in to help her finance and build a bigger rescue centre.
“When other women who had gone through the same thing saw what I was doing, they came in to help me build a bigger rescue centre.
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And by the way, I don’t talk with my parents to date because of that; I felt like they were supposed to protect me from my uncle, but they did not, and that sucks me every time; maybe I’ll forgive them in future but for now, I can not,” she said.
Wachira now urges the GBV victims to speak out and not be ashamed so that they can be helped from the hands of the culprits.
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