Don’t just Watch, Act!

Don’t Just Watch, Act!

Reports show that at least one in three woman experiences sexual assault at some point in their lives, and that number is much higher in marginalized groups.

In Kenya, more than half of the women and girls population has experienced some sort of sexual assault or harassment, and the majority on routes often populated by university and college students. Most of which go unreported either because those harassed do not know that this is a crime or just because of fear of victimization.

Sadly, some of us have witnessed the occurrence of such heinous act and opted to just do nothing. This is truly unacceptable. I believe that if we could all work together to condemn some of these socially unacceptable behaviors then this would surely stop. A few days back, a lady reported of having been sexually assaulted at the Bus station terminals yet no one came to her aid. Surely this has to stop. If we all could be active bystanders and condemn these acts as they happen then our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters would be safe.

I look forward to a time when Nairobi will be listed as one of the safe cities in the world, where every woman and every girl feel safe and comfortable to move around without fear of any kind of sexual harassment and sexual violence. It is high time that we speak strongly against this vice in both private spaces and public spaces.

I believe we can do this without necessarily going to the streets but by giving the assurance and validation that any form of harassment and violence in public spaces, private spaces and in the place that we live is unacceptable.

It is therefore important to note that this is possible if we all choose not to be silent but to condemn these acts whenever we see them happen. Remember Safe Cities, Ni jukumu letu sote!

By Mary Mwangi

Program manager, Flone Initiative

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