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Top Kenyan University Issues Security Memos Blaming Survivors For Rape, Sparks Student Uproar

Shivangi Sharma and Pragya Jain

A top Kenyan University issued a memo signed by the head of the security blaming recklessness at the part of female students as the reason for rising cases of robbery and rape. Vice-Chancellor of the University admitted that the memo was “insensitive” in nature. 

After the memo was sent to all students, a petition started in response to the memo questioning how women could blamed for their own rape.

Popular media personality, Adelle Onyango posted the memo on Instagram saying “This is what victim blaming looks like” Outraged at the university response to cases of rape, she says that that “This is what normalization of rape looks like and we will not stand for it Right now, where we go, what time we will go there, who we will go with, how we will get there, what we will wear etc is governed by how safe we will be and that is NOT normal neither is it OK!”

“If men just stopped raping us, rape will stop.” The memo gave an example of a  drunk student who was gang-raped on her way back in the early hours of the morning. It also suggested tips about how to keep safe in social gatherings asking students to always go out with trusted friends, memorise important numbers in case they lost a phone and never leave their drinks unattended. 

A change.org petition was started after the memo was circulated amongst students stating “Misogyny has been time and again endorsed by the powers in play in Kenya and has got to stop”. It received nearly 1500 signatures.

Stephan Kaima, Vice-Chancellor of the university said that students were advised to call the security department whenever they faced “security challenges during day and night”.

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