What is defilement? And the difference between rape and defilement?

Defilement is defined as the act of having sexual intercourse with a minor/child. Different countries have different ranges of their minority age; in Kenya however, a child is any human being who has not attained 18 years of age – the Children’s Act. The Sexual Offences Act Laws of Kenya under Section 8. (1)

A person who commits an act which causes penetration with a child is guilty of an offence termed defilement.

The difference is defilement occurs when one performs an unlawful sexual act on a person below 18 years old, while rape is one having sexual intercourse with a woman older than 18 years old, and without her consent. It is worth to note that in defilement, consent of the minor is irrelevant

 Can women commit defilement?

If a woman has sex with an underage boy, then that will be considered defilement, the same applies if a man has sex with an underage girl.

Who is a pedophile?

A pedophile is a person who fantasy act of sexual activity with children. Pedophiles are usually men, and can be attracted to either or both sexes. Perpetrators often delude themselves into viewing their actions as helpful to children which is totally false since they tell their victims not to alert their parents or authorities.

Due to technological advancements mainly in the telecommunication industry, pedophiles are now targeting innocent children in Kenya through social sites, blogs and penpal exchange.  Parents should be vigil and report any suspicious individuals/neighbors who usually lure their children. A pedophile becomes a child’s best friend, a trusted adviser, and makes the child feel loved, accepted and cherished before the abuse begins. Read more on the 10 tips to identify a pedophile

Where to report a case of defilement?

There are many avenues to report an instance of defilement or any other offence; the child can confide in the teacher, trusted neighbor, relative or parent. He/she can also visit the Chief’s camp, police Station or any authority within the region. An alternative avenue of calling either an organization like CRADLE or Childline Kenya  may be of much assistance if the authorities are slow/unwilling to act. You can as well visit any public or private hospital and report that your child has been abused then report the same to the authorities after medical checkups have been conducted.

Other offences under the Sexual Offences Act affecting children?

There are multiple offences well-defined from Section 8 to Section 16 the Act, below are some of these offences

  • Defilement.
  • Attempted defilement.
  • Gang rape.
  • Indecent act with child or adult.
  • Promotion of sexual offences with a child.
  • Child trafficking.
  • Child sex tourism.
  • Child prostitution.
  • Child pornography

How does CRADLE assist children abused by parents or teachers?

The issue of abuse, mainly sexual and physical abuse by parents, relatives or teachers is wrong and should be reported immediately. CRADLE works closely with the Police Department, the Children Department and the Court to ensure justice is achieved. We advise our clients to either contact the police directly and thereafter come to/call our offices or approach the Children Department and seek assistance. As CRADLE, We offers court representation and counselling free of charge to all affected children.

What should I do if my father mistreats me and does not want my mother to visit me; they are both divorced?

All mothers and fathers have legal rights and responsibilities as a parent – known as ‘parental responsibility’. The most important roles of a parent are to provide a home for the child, protect and maintain the child. The Constitution of Kenya states that both parents whether married to each other or not should provide parental care and protection which includes equal responsibility of the mother and father.

The Children Act provides that children have a right to parental love and protection in line with the best interest of the child which includes allowing and encouraging frequent and continuing physical access between the child and the other parent;.

In your case, you father should allow your mother to visit you occasionally; you can as well contact CRADLE or ask you mother to do it on your behalf and we will assist you. We shall call your mother and father for a discussion (mediation) and then have them agree on when she can visit you. Further, if the mistreatment is physical or sexual in any way, you can explain it to us or your mother and we will ensure your father is punished for it.