Justice for Liz
How Kenyan police have handled the brutal gang rape of a Busia County schoolgirl has sparked popular outrage and prompted many to question the effectiveness of Kenya’s laws in deterring sexual assault.
The assault and the consequences
The 16 year old girl, only identified as Liz, was walking home from her grandfather’s funeral when a group of six men beat and raped her. They later dumped the bleeding and unconscious teenager in a sewage ditch. She later developed a fistula, causing her to leak stool and urine, due to the brutal nature of the repeated raping. She is also now confined to a wheelchair because of an injury to her spinal cord as a result of the men throwing her into the 20-foot pit.
After surviving a night in the ditch, Liz was rescued by local residents and later identified three of her alleged rapists. Police responded by ordering the three men to cut grass around the police station, and later set them free.
Liz did everything right. She screamed for help during her attack but though her neighbours heard, nobody helped her. She reported her attack to the police promptly and identified her attackers. She went to the police before she went to hospital, and the police stupidly asked her to go and shower before she went to the hospital. Yet, three months after her attack, Liz was in hospital struggling with the psychological and physical trauma of her attack, while her attackers remained free.
The Avaaz campaign for Liz
Liz’s horror story has sent shockwaves through Kenya and now politicians and the police are under pressure to respond. But women’s groups in Kenya say nothing will truly change unless the government is put under the global spotlight. They are calling on us urgently to help ensure justice is done and that Liz’s nightmare marks a turning-point in Kenya’s rape epidemic.
The Avaaz campaign has already generated more than one million signatures – that is more than one million voices demanding justice for Liz. The petition is directed at Kenya’s Inspector General of Police and calls on him “to deliver justice for Liz including the immediate arrest and prosecution of her rapists and full disciplinary action for the police officers who dismally failed to handle her case.”
The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.
The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.
The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.
The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Avaaz as they encompass similar ideals.
The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:
How can we help?
Nobody has been brought to justice — not the rapists, and not the police. We can help change that. Sign now to get justice for Liz and help make sure no girl anywhere suffers this violence:
Liz is a pseudonym given by the news outlet that broke her story and has since been widely used.