Keeping Children safe

Nature: Sexual Abuse

Location: Kisumu
Age: 3

A three-year-old girl, Ruth, was defiled by a man who was out on a revenge mission against the girl’s mother. She had been left in the house alone while the mother went to entertain herself in a local bar. The girl’s genitals were damaged in the ordeal and the case was referred to Childline Kenya by a community health worker who called the helpline 116 from Kisumu.

Childline Kenya mobilized partners to support. She survived two reconstructive surgeries and was taken back home after undergoing trauma counselling as well. During the surgical operations, Ruth had to stay in a safe house but kept in touch with her maternal grandmother. The mother was arrested prosecuted and charged with the offence of child neglect and exposing the child to the risk of abuse. She was given a two-year jail term.

Unfortunately, Ruth developed further complications related to the sexual abuse because of further neglect by her guardian, the maternal grandmother who was quite aged, and her case was highlighted in one of the local daily newspapers. Childline Kenya took up the case once again and she went through yet another reconstructive surgery two years after the initial surgery. The healing process went well and she was reintegrated back home after 4 months. Her mother had by then served her jail term and had been released. The Department of Children Services committed to constantly monitor Ruth’s progress while a pastor and his family offered to provide for all her needs including education.