I attended a therapeutic massage parlour in a Malindi seashore resort. As I received a full physique therapeutic massage, the masseur inserted his fingers in my genitals. I shouted “cease!” and a gaggle of different masseurs walked in. Feeling embarrassed, I wore my garments and didn’t clarify the ordeal to them. I’m not positive if his act is an offence as there was no genital insertion. What ought to I do?
Viola Wanje, Malindi city
First, what you went by isn’t acceptable and could also be thought of a legal offence. In Kenya, any type of non-consensual sexual contact, together with touching or insertion of fingers into genitals with out consent, is taken into account sexual assault.
It’s advisable you get to a protected place and inform somebody you belief as quickly as attainable. This particular person can accompany you to the closest hospital. It’s best to keep the identical garments you had when the assault occurred. Alternatively, put them in a bag comprised of paper or a newspaper. Keep away from using a polythene bag, which is able to sweat and deform the proof. On the hospital, don’t queue however somewhat inform the registration desk of your expertise.
You in all probability ran out of the parlour due to shock after the distressing expertise. There’s additionally a chance that you’re experiencing disgrace, disappointment and worry. This can be a regular expertise; nonetheless, it mustn’t make you shy from reporting.
It is essential to report such incidents to the authorities as quickly as attainable, as delays would possibly have an effect on the gathering of proof and the flexibility to carry the perpetrators accountable. You possibly can go to the closest police station to file a report, then search help from organisations that cope with sexual assault instances.
Moreover, it’s important to assemble any proof you might need, equivalent to figuring out details about the masseur or witnesses. It was essential you shouted “cease”. This is able to imply there’s a excessive likelihood the opposite workers heard you. Their testimony can be required in prosecuting the case in a court docket of regulation. Moreover, it reveals the shortage of consent, which is a necessary ingredient in any sexual violence instances.
Lastly, on this concern, courts in Kenya have given the important elements for the offence of sexual assault. In a single matter within the Court docket of Attraction, it was determined as follows: “…. Thus, for functions of sexual assault, the penetration isn’t restricted to penetration of genitals by genitals. It extends to penetration of the sufferer’s genital organs by any a part of the physique of the perpetrator of the offence, or of some other particular person and even by objects manipulated for that function.”
The author is an advocate of the Excessive Court docket of Kenya and award-winning civil society lawyer ([email protected]).