Kenya’s LGBTQ Community Faces Increased Abuse During Pandemic


NAIROBI – Kenya has acknowledged that COVID-19 restrictions are fueling cases of gender-based-violence but has been less open on abuses against the LGBTQ community. Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and activists say many are afraid to report abuse or get medical help because of stigma. Twenty-eight year-old Rebecca Adhiambo’s family shunned her after discovering two years ago that she is a lesbian. When her neighbors found out, she was insulted, evicted, and – in September – attacked. She says she was on her way home from the market to prepare a meal after a long day of doing casual work in Eastleigh. Someone approached her from behind, a crowd gathered, and some were shouting that she should leave the neighborhood. They started beating her and threw away all that she bought at the market. Said Athmani documents cases of attacks on the LGBTQ community. Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in March, he says there’s been a jump in cases of abuse.

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