Cases of Kenyan men raped by women alarm doctors

The number of men reporting rape by women has medical experts at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Nairobi raising questions. Among 385 rape victims treated at the hospital during a three-year period, 35 were men with 15 claiming to have been assaulted by women. But researchers led by Dr Eric Munene Muriuki of the University of Nairobi, with colleagues from KNH, the University of Washington, US, and University of Manitoba, Canada, think the men are not being sincere.

“Men claiming assault by women raised the question if these were genuine sexual assault cases or men afraid to seek medical help after consensual sex,” says the study first presented at an Aids conference in Australia. A version of the study published this month (June 1) in the journal Aids Patient Care and STDs shows the researchers assessing the uptake of medication by rape victim to protect against HIV infections at KNH. It is recommended that rape victims be put on HIV prevention treatment called Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) within 72 hours of the incident.

In this case, the researchers seem to suggest the men who claimed being raped by women may actually have been involved in some consensual but risky sex for which they sought PEP under cover of rape. The medical researchers were also surprised by high rates of male-to-male cases of rape at the Gender-Based Violence Recovery Centre of KNH. “I understand why this may surprise the researchers but ideally it shouldn’t,” says Dr Julius Gathogo, a senior lecturer in religious studies at Kenyatta University. Dr Gathogo says he is hardly surprised by the cases of men running to KNH allegedly on being raped by women. He notes that with improved gender balance it means men relinquishing some of the exclusive power they have had over women including violence.


“Hence we expect to hear all forms of violence by women against men, including ironically rape,” Dr Gathogo says. In 2015, Dr Gathogo published a study, in the journal Theological Studies, on the views of Kenyans on men battering by women. The study covering 26 of the 47 counties, the author says had then been prompted by a spike in battering of men by women in central Kenya around 2014. Like the researchers in the KNH study, he says Kenyans had also expressed surprise at the battering of men as reported then in the media. “My take is, gender violence is no longer restricted to women by men, but also to men by women as well.” Rape, he explains is part of the said violence. “So, if men can rape women, women likewise can do so and eventually hurt men’s genitals,” Dr Gathogo told Saturday Standard. In his study he points out that sex was a major cause of the evolving face of female to male battering in Kenya. Sex-related causes of men-battering, the study indicated was because of denial of conjugal rights by drunkard or busy spouses. The other cause of male-battering, study participants said, was marriage to older women who underrate younger spouses. Again, the study says when a sexually promiscuous man infects a faithful woman with sexually transmitted diseases, a woman may get out of her senses and wildly attack an unsuspecting spouse – and thereby injure him fatally. “Violence against men that includes verbal, psychological, pouring hot water, penile amputation will definitely increase,” says Dr Gathogo. Back to Kenyatta gender violence unit study, like others similar investigations it shows most of the rapists, 72 per cent were known to their victims. “There was family relationship in 51 sexual assault cases, 40 were immediate family members while 11 were distant relatives,” the study says. Friends were implicated in 59 cases and 163 others who were: 12 per cent classmate, 10 per cent workmate, 1 per cent employees, 7 per cent employers, 6 per cent neighbour, 12 per cent taxi driver, 1 per cent police, 1 per cent house helps. While most of the rape survivors (207 in the study) had been put on PEP, only 70 of these completed the recommended 28 days of medication. “Only 21 of those on PEP returned for repeat HIV test at 3 months,” the study says.

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1 Comment
  1. LL says

    What about the other 350 cases of rape against women? I know the study was about these men, but perhaps someone in Kenya should be concerned about the outrageous number of rape cases period. Also, women can also be impregnated in addition to getting AIDS or STDs, and perhaps no one cares. Yes, men can get AIDS and STDs too, and be treated, but pregnancy also brings another life into the world that the woman is responsible to care for when her rapist is long gone (hopefully to prison). Also, only men have the ability to protect themselves against AIDS and STDs. They can protect themselves better than women can because the devices for protection are all for men. Of course a man could be assaulted by some majorly strong woman who might have been as strong as a man, but physically it just doesn’t add up because a man cannot be violated the way a woman can anatomically by a woman–even if he was drunk out of his mind–it doesn’t work that way and everyone knows that. So, you could in this case, call it assault, but not ‘rape’ unless the man was forced under gunpoint or knife-weilding female to do what? I’m kind of shocked by these claims because common sense (as the doctors pointed out) would point to other causes for seeking medical treatment that have to do with the men’s lack of control (perhaps through use of alchohol or drugs or through use of a weapon by the attacker to force someone to do something they did not want to do) or it could have been another man and they just didn’t want to say. I mean what does a rape kit for a male rape victim look like? The evidence is from something produced by the man, not the woman. Also, usually when women (or in this case men) are raped there is some additional violence of a physical nature because of a struggle and/or evidence such as weapons that could be found if described. Many times the women have been knocked down, bruised, hit, slapped. or threatened with a weapon, so there is evidence. Was there evidence of this nature for the men? If it was another man who actually raped another man, then evidence would be available from the assailant to show the gender. So, perhaps there should be a rape kit–to see if the evidence was from a male assailant or not. I’m not sure this can be determined in such circumstances in Kenya, but hopefully police can be more aware of the necessity for evidence (collected a the hospital–rape evidence kits) unless these cases were late-reported so there is no evidence. But if the victim is coming to a hospital, then why would they come long after the assault has occurred since evidently they are coming to the hospital to take care of injuries or to avoid the potential for disease. Evidence through the kits would be of essence in cases of both men and women then. Let’s care for all rape victims–men AND women (and the children that are born to women who have been raped). The majority of such cases are women (and the children that might be created out of such crimes). If men are afraid after a ‘risky’ trist, then why couldn’t they just go to get checked without having to say it was a rape, unless of course it was another man who was the assailant; and then that the assailant should be treated the same as any other rapist. The other question I have is how could a woman physically rape a man (since rape involves something to happen involving an anatomical mechanism only available in the man’s anatomy, not a woman’s anatomy? That is not just common sense, it is anatomical science.

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