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Bête Noire

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Women In Focus

The Rape of the Samburu Women

For more than 50 years, England has maintained military training facilities in the Samburu region of its former colony, Kenya. During this period, women in the area have faced an epidemic of rape. Women from the Samburu, Massai, Rendile, and Turkana indigenous communities have filed more than 600 official rape claims against British soldiers. Yet, despite documentation of their claims, a three-year internal investigation by the Royal Military Police (RMP) cleared all soldiers of wrongdoing. Meanwhile, the victims have been shamed and outcast in their communities, many to the point of exile.

In the mid-1990s, Beatrice Chili responded to this situation by establishing the village of Senchen, a self-sufficient community run entirely by women. There, women build homes, weave textiles, gather and grow food, and raise children. This short film visits the brave women of Senchen, who speak candidly about their suffering and talk passionately about their demands for justice. Watch the film to hear their stories and to find out how you can offer your support.

Courtesy of Cultures of Resistance

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