Media stations in Kenya have in the recent past been marred by numerous stories of sexual assault. Despite the continuous highlighting of these scary incidents, we haven’t really passionately risen up to ‘fight’ for the ones who have become victims of such heinous acts.
In a way we have normalized sexual violence, for both men and women. We have justified why it should be spoken only I hush tones and vilified the victims, mumming their voices. Worse of, we focus on reasons why they became victims as opposed to focusing on the fact that someone just stripped off their will power.
In a way, it is slowing becoming a culture. It is slowly getting engraved in subjects least spoken about. Well, that wasn’t the same for Nelson Maxivan, who decided he will not watch as men and women alike are being hurt and subjected to inhuman acts.
Through his non-governmental organization, FABWIL (Fill a Backet With Love), Maxivan launched the END RAPE CULTURE CAMPAIGN and Fashion Gala, that aims to create awareness on rape culture and sexual violence by providing information, giving people a platform to share their experiences and work towards finding a solution to what has clearly become a societal menace.
Driven by restorative principles that will help cultivate a support network for survivors, Fabwil also provides informational resources to the greater community by way of workshops and forum discussions, and provides a simple way for survivors and allies to find support both within and outside their network.
According to statistics, 1 in every 20 women report rape cases in Kenya and only 1 out of 6 seek medical assistance in Kenya.
Due to the fear of not being believed, the guilt and shame that society often makes the survivors feel and the trauma of the rape itself, it has been noted that many survivors feel that they cannot come forward.
#EndRapeCulture Fashion Gala is the culmination of a three month campaign that has been carried out by Fabwil. It is the space created for survivors to tell their personal stories as well, even as the #MeToo movement gains momentum around the globe.
A survivor once mentioned that the real healing is always achieved when the victims sincerely know that that they are not responsible for what happened to them.
By creating an environment that not only acknowledges their pain and trauma but also empowers them to stand up and be better persons than their abusers, Fabwil incorporated a Fashion Gala that aims to rubbish the talks of “the dress the victim wore is the reason for them being raped.”
Being the second event under the tagline #EndRapeCulture, Fabwil intends to use the event’s proceeds to facilitate the motion of this campaign whilst providing resources to the survivors through counselling and the creation of safe forums for them to share their stories.
Ultimately, the event also seeks to ignite discussions which will educate the general public on the Rape Culture.
The event will take place on 1st June, at Zaika Lounge in Eldoret, from 6pm till late. (More information on the poster.)