Maina and Kingangi storm off the studio after night long rape ordeal story

Mwalimu Kingangi sat silently staring at Maina Kageni after a woman recounted a horrifying rape ordeal in the hands of a thug.

The mind boggling experience saw Maina and Kingangi leave the studio, shaking, but with promises to help her.

Let me catch you up to speed about what happened.

The co hosts were speaking about why bystanders watch as someone is beaten or robbed in Kenyan streets.

‘I miscarried at 5 months’ Wendy Kemunto speaks out after rape ordeal by rugby players

A female caller narrated that at 16, a rape ordeal has left her scarred for life.

The rape survivor moved Maina and Kingangi to tears forcing them to leave the studio immediately to catch their breath.

‘I live in Mathare where a notorious gang member bet me senseless. I ran to a group of men to help me, but instead the man removed money, gave them and they demanded that I leave with him to his house.

I left and he beat me in the process, I tried running but he dragged me and hit me, and he took me to his house and I was raped the whole night.

She adds why she did not put up a fight, and instead lay down frozen in shock and frightened

Do you know the ghetto life, ladies there are vulnerable I was 16, then I was raped the whole night and the friends came knocking on the door, it’s like they were to go somewhere. So I begged him to tell them to go away because I didn’t want them to know I was in his house because I would have been gang raped. In the morning he went to the shops, and I heard a child outside and begged them to open the door for me to run away. To date I hate men who force me into se3, even if he was shot I always swished he could have been mob justiced. I have never healed, I can’t keep a man for long. The moment he wants to force me into anything I remember the rape, I wish those men could have helped, but instead they left me to go with a rapist, and I haven’t healed I’m usually bitter, it’s painful ( she cries) it’s very painful, but….

Njambi of Real Househelps of Kawangware gears up for childbirth

It was at this moment that Maina and Kingangi gasped and chocked for air.

The call was ended by the rape survivor, and the two took a break.

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‘I miscarried at 5 months’ Wendy Kemunto speaks out after rape ordeal by rugby players

Kenyan artiste Wendy Kemunto has finally publicly opened up on her pregnancy after she was sexually assaulted by Frank Wanyama and Alex Mahaga.

The duo assaulted Kemunto in April 2018. They were in August 2019 sentenced to 15 years in prison, they have appealed the decision.

Speaking about her ordeal during an interview with Grace Msalame, Kemunto said she decided to keep the pregnancy she conceived after the sexual assault.

‘Accepting to keep the baby was a journey at first I did not want to keep it because I felt it was unfair.

But after speaking to other people who had been through the same ordeal as I had I chose to keep it., I realized it was not the child’s fault.’


Kemunto added that she decided to keep the child as she felt God might have decided to bless her with a child, despite the nature in which it was conceived.

‘I decided that God had opted to bless me with a child despite the circumstances in which it came.

It was a difficult pregnancy because it was when the rape story had picked up on social media.

I was affected by it. Around the fifth month, I suffered an unexpected miscarriage. We rushed to the hospital because it had started happening (miscarriage) at home.’

Kemunto added.

‘The doctor looked at me and decided we had to remove the child as it would be harmful to me.

The miscarriage was because of the stress and the environment I was in at the time.’

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The last message rugby player Frank Wanyama wrote

Rugby star Frank Wanyama has started his 15 years journey in prison. Wanyama, together with his counterpart Alex Malaba Olaba were found guilty of gang-raping upcoming artiste Wendy Kemunto.

Rugby Players


Kemunto was raped on her birthday at Seefar Apartments in Highrise, Nairobi, on February 10 2018.

Through her social Instagram account, Kemunto said,


The players’ careers have been dimmed and Frank Wanyama, was set to join a rugby team in Helsinki soon.

Wanyama was currently dating a Finnish woman identified as Sonja Sirvio. The two were so much in love. They were inseparable. Their social media accounts are filled with photos of each other.

Frank Wanyama
Frank with his girlfriend

On July 17 this year, Wanyama wished his heartbeat a happy birthday and his special message read,

A happy born day to my person @sonjasirvio 🐈.You’ve brought so much light and joy to my life and as you celebrate this special day may it bring the same kind of happiness and love. Yours 🍪🦁.

Last year, he also wished his mzungu bae a happy birthday and his message read;

A happy birthday to this blondie Nanjala Wanyonyi that I call mine. Through the storm and the CIRCUS you’ve always been a pillar of strength and a blessing that I will forever be grateful for. Comme vous devenez un an plus vieux et moins sage continuer à briller au reste du monde.

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Standard seven girl gang raped and murdered in Eastleigh

Four women have been arrested after a Standard Seven girl was gang-raped, doused with acid and killed in Eastleigh, Nairobi.

Among those in police custody is the pupil’s 28-year-old aunt Nathifa Mohamed.

“The girl is suspected to have been gang-raped and murdered in the house where she lived with her aunt Nathifa Mohamed in Eastleigh,” human rights activist Florence Kanyua said on Wednesday.

Several men, women and children were in the house when the 14-year-old girl was killed, police said. The girl had been missing for four days before her body was found on Saturday.

“Children in the apartment noticed the smell and saw a decomposing body in the sitting room. They came and told us,” a neighbour said.

The aunt is alleged to have removed the body for secret burial. However, police intercepted the body at a South C mosque where it had been brought in an ambulance. The police said the body had been cleaned and ready for burial. “The body was in an ambulance that we are still holding,” a detective said.

Neighbours said the girl had been living with the aunt and three other women.

The suspects, according to the police, are of Somali origin. “The girl is a Kenyan but the others foreigners,” an officer told the Star.

The women allegedly told the police the girl had died of a heart attack. Neighbours said men frequented the house but the suspect never let them in.

“There were children and men in the house. We are tracking the men but the children are already in the safe houses to be witnesses,” a police officer said.

“The body was decomposing. Acid wounds are a testimony that the girl underwent trauma during the four days she was missing.”

Nathifa was arrested on Sunday and taken to court on Monday. Police sought to detain her at Pangani police station for 14 days as they conducted more investigations.

The other suspects are expected in court today. The girl was buried on Monday at the Lang’ata cemetery as per the Islamic tradition.

Imende Benjamin

Woman and her 13-year-old daughter raped and killed in Naivasha buried

A somber mood engulfed Longonot area Naivasha, after a middle aged woman and her daughter, who were murdered last week were laid to rest.

Ann Njeri and her 13-year daughter Purity Wairimu were killed by her boyfriend but not before sexually abusing the two, with an intention of punishing the girl for her mum’s mistakes.

This came as a post mortem report indicated that the duo was killed through strangulation, after they were sexually abused.

Man rapes mother and daughter before killing them in Naivasha


Police in Naivasha are holding one suspect in relation to the murders that occurred over the weekend in Sanctuary area off Moi South Lake road.

The bodies of the two were found decomposing in their house a week after they went missing, with the suspect, who is the boyfriend arrested in his hiding place in Mai Mahiu area.

The suspect, who was thoroughly beaten by members of the public before police rescued him, was allegedly on a revenge mission after the woman allegedly infected him with HIV/Aids.

Musalia Mudavadi’s three employees die after drinking unknown concoction


A relative only identified as Kibe termed the deaths as very painful for the family noting that the teenager was set to join form one this week.

Kibe said that they were still in darkness as to the reasons that the suspect decided to murder the duo, adding that police were yet to issue their report.

“Some friends of the suspect say that he decided to kill the mother and the daughter due to frustrations after been infected and we leave the rest to the police.”

Meanwhile, 12 passengers lost cash and personal effects running into thousands of shillings after a matatu they were travelling in was hijacked along the Nairobi-Nakuru.

Body of missing Nation employee found at city mortuary

During the 11pm incident near Mithuri estate in Naivasha, three passengers were slightly injured by the gun-totting thugs before making away with their assets.

The incident came barely a week where passengers were carjacked on the same spot and robbed by the thugs who included a woman.

A passenger Jathan Mwaura said that a woman and a man in the matatu that was heading to Nairobi told the driver that they wanted to alight seconds before the thugs attacked.

“When the matatu stopped to drop the two who had boarded in Nakuru, a group of youths brandishing guns and other weapons moved in before robbing us,” he said.

Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru confirmed the incident adding that three suspects had been arrested in connection with the robbery.

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“He said he would beat us if we told any person about it,” Sisters reveal repeated defilement by uncle

Two young sisters from Mariakani, Kilifi, have allegedly been repeatedly defiled by a man they have always known as their uncle.

Their mother yesterday dismissed claims she was about to accept a bribe to kill the case. She said she is keen on seeking justice for her daughters.

She said the first defilement occurred in November last year, but the girls only disclosed their ordeal on September 19.

She said the suspect is not her relative, though she had informed the daughters that he was their uncle. He committed the crime at her house whenever she was away, the mother said.

The man is in his late 20s. He worked at a garage near the family’s house. Police are investigating and searching for the man.

The eldest girl, 12,told the Star the suspect forced himself upon her once. “He said he would beat us if we told any person about it,” she said.

“That day he forced himself on me and covered my mouth so I could not scream.” Her sister is aged nine.

The mother said it was not the first incident according to information she received from neighbours.

The firstborn child said she was given Sh50 on September 18 when she was defiled.

The mother told Muslims for Human Rights rapid response officer Francis Auma and assistant field officer Sabina Kaugi that the suspect tried to bribe her not to pursue the case, but she refused.

“I was so pained and couldn’t even open my eyes to see how much it was. I chased him out of my house. I did not accept the money,” she said. The man attacked her, she said.

Mariakani police station where the defilement case was reported, October 20, 2018./ ERNEST CORNEL.Mariakani police station where the defilement case was reported, October 20, 2018./ ERNEST CORNEL.

The mother accused police of cover-up. Contacted for comment, Mariakani police station boss Irungu Mwangi said he could only speak to the mother.

But Mariakani police division chief Kennedy Onsando said the mother was ready to accept the cash.

“It was my informer who reported the case to the police station, not the mother. That’s when I instructed my officers to act and the plan was aborted,” he said.

Onsando said a medical report from Mariakani District Hospital showed the older girl had been raped but did not say how many times.

The mother dismissed claims she wanted to accept the bribe. She gave the OB number, OB41/20/9/2018, as a proof she reported to police.

One person aware of the case said the suspect was ready to part with Sh50,000.

Auma and Kaugi want police to arrest the suspect.

“He has been roaming free for the last three weeks. If police wanted him arrested, they would have done that a long time ago,” Auma said.

He said the act could not have been consensual because the victims are children. “The law protects such children from this cruel act. It will only be just if the offender is punished,” Auma said.

The mother said two Somali elders approached her to end the case “without police interference”, but she refused. She said the suspect worked for the two men.

Efforts by the Star to get comment from the garage owners were unsuccessful.

Police division chief Onsando said they are hunting for the suspect.

“He won’t escape justice. The Sexual Offences Act says where there is an allegation of defilement, the perpetrators must be arrested,” he said.



Manhunt launched for Makueni pastor who  raped woman during ‘prayers’

Police in Makueni county are looking for a pastor alleged to have raped a 25-year-old woman who had sought a prayer intervention at his house.

Police, in a report on the Wednesday 10pm incident, said the pastor, who is still at large, was reported to have committed the act at Katune village.

The victim, a married mother of three, says she had attended the prayers with her sister-in-law and her mother-in-law. The pastor, only identified as Pastor Mutua, lured them to one-on-one ‘consultation’.

She says that when her turn came, the pastor not only prayed but also touched her in an inappropriate manner before raping her in the pretext of exorcising demons.

“When the session with the pastor ended, she walked outside and narrated her ordeal to the rest with a view of establishing whether they were taken through a similar process but they told her it was not so,” the police report states.

Together, they confronted the pastor but he refuted the allegations and fled on a motor cycle.

The victim was escorted to Emali model clinic for initial medical check-up by the family members and later filed the complaint with the police.

Officers from Emali police station visited the scene of the incident as investigations into the incident continue.

Courtesy Lewis Nyaundi/ Also read more here

Shame! Marriage proposal turns into a rape when woman rejects it!

Marriage proposals are supposed to be a thing of beauty if you follow the doctrine of romance novels. Money is no object in this very Western of traditions. The use of the diamond ring as a sign that one was engaged was started by the De Beers diamond company to sell more diamonds to the unsuspecting public.  The diamond engagement ring was supposed to be the epitome of and symbol of a man’s undying affection and commitment to a woman.

Diamond ring meme
Diamond ring meme. photo credit: memegenerator

But the proposal is supposed to be given by a man to a willing recipient; the woman he wanted to marry. But the next man in this story does not have NO in his vocabulary. What he did after the woman rejected his proposal was not only heinous but also criminal. The man allegedly raped the woman after she refused his proposal. Shame!

It became clear that he was not after the woman’s love, but was eager to get in between her legs as soon as possible.  In full view of other people, he allegedly dragged the complainant into his car and drove off to a secluded place where he forcibly had sex with her once.

Terribly clever meme
Terribly clever meme. photo credit: funnyjunk

Tinashe Gono (28) was arrested after the victim was helped by witnesses to identify her attacker and he appeared before Zvishavane magistrate Shepherd Mjanja. The court heard that on 23 December around 4 pm at Todali shops, Maglas in Zvishavane, the accused called the complainant to his car and started proposing love to her.

The woman turned him down and as she was moving away from him, Gono pulled her into his Funcargo vehicle number plate ATD 8457 and locked the doors before driving off. He parked the car a few metres away from the shops and forcibly had intercourse with the complainant once without protection. Does it really make a difference if he had used protection? Honest question? Because it is still rape!

After releasing her, the complainant swiftly reported the matter to police and with the help of witnesses, Gono was arrested. A medical report was produced in court as an exhibit and the victim and witnesses positively identified Gono during a police identification parade.

He was not asked to plead and was remanded in custody until 18 January. Crazy this Tinashe individual from Zimbabwe!

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”I’ve Got A Girlfriend, I’ll Get In Trouble, Forget About It,’ Rapist Begs Victim

A student actor raped a 19-year-old woman then threatened to kill himself if she told anyone, a court heard yesterday.

Jack Green, 19, who was studying at a leading drama school, allegedly forced himself on the tearful undergraduate after a drunken night out during freshers’ week.

When she texted him later to say she had said no ‘a million times’ he threatened to kill himself rather than go to jail, the jury was told.

Green’s messages said: “If you say anything I’ll kill myself. Just forget about it, it’s done, it”s in the past, leave it. I’d go to jail, I’d rather die. I’m going to jump.”

Manchester Crown Court was told Green had started his course at the Arden School of Theatre, Manchester, in the days before the alleged attack in September last year. Ex-students at the drama school include EastEnders actress Zoe Lucker, plus Coronation Street stars Tracy Shaw and Cherylee Houston.

Green was arrested when the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, returned to her own accommodation and confided in a friend.

She told the jury: “It was a terrifying experience. I was scared. I was in a state of shock. He was forceful. I did tell him to stop but it was hard to speak when he had bitten my lip. He gripped my neck at one stage. I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t want to have sexual intercourse with him but he didn’t stop.”

The court heard that, on the night of the attack, Green and the woman were among a group who had drunk vodka before going to the Fifth Avenue nightclub in Manchester.

“I was tipsy and Jack was drunk as well,” she said. “We danced together as a group. Jack told me he had seen a girl on the same course and told me he thought she was really good looking. I said, ‘You already have a girlfriend,’ but he was persistently trying to get off with her, and I was saying stop because she didn’t want to. He kissed me and I pushed him away after about a second.”

The group went back to Green’s room for food, but the pair were left alone and he locked the door.

The woman told police: “I was about six out of ten in terms of how drunk I was and he might have been a little bit more drunk. I said, ‘Get off me, stop,’ and was pushing him on the chest but he just said ‘shh’ and carried on. I was crying and I had my hand over his mouth because I didn’t want to kiss him. I was saying ‘no’ but it didn’t have any impact. I was properly crying. I didn’t say much, I didn’t know what to do.”

The court heard friends banged at the door and Green quickly got dressed and claimed the girl was upset because another man had ‘hit on’ her.

But in her statement she added: “I said, ‘Stop lying.’ He was saying, ‘I’ve got a girlfriend I’ll get in trouble forget about it’.”

Medics found a graze to her lower lip and an injury to an intimate area. Philip Dobson, prosecuting, said the texts Green sent to her afterwards were crucial.

He told the jury: “The complainant repeatedly pointed out that she didn’t want to do it and was saying, No. His response is very telling. If she had consented to the intercourse or he genuinely believed she had consented, you would expect him to reply, indignantly, contradicting her.”

The court heard Green, who denies rape, appeared to have a panic attack when officers came to his flat to arrest him.

Green, of Abertillery in South Wales, claimed he and the woman kissed in the nightclub before going to his room and starting to have sex before she said ‘no’ and he stopped. The trial continues.

© Daily Mail

Who’s in control when you’re giving birth? Rape survivor recounts her gruesome ordeal

Kimberly Turbin wasn’t expecting childbirth to be a pleasant experience, but she wasn’t expecting it to be a nightmare either.

On May 4, 2013, she was sitting on the couch at a friend’s house. They had plans to go out for seafood in San Pedro, next to the Los Angeles Harbor, and 27-year-old Turbin was relaxing in the living room while her friend took a shower.

Then she felt something ‘pop’ — her water had broken. Turbin rushed home to take a shower herself and grab her things before heading to the hospital. She arrived at the Providence Tarzana Medical Center in the San Fernando Valley around 5pm.

Turbin was insured through Medi-Cal, a state program that offers free or low-cost health coverage for people with limited income.

She had received prenatal care through a nonprofit community health center called El Proyecto del Barrio, where nurses handled most of her appointments. The day before she went into labor, two weeks before her due date, she had first met Alex Abbassi, an obstetrician who worked with Providence Tarzana.

Turbin is a two-time rape survivor, and when she arrived at the hospital, she asked the staff to be gentle and get permission before touching her. ‘I was scared of everything and everybody and I told them, ‘You have to tell me what you are doing or you are going to freak me out,” she says.

Abbassi checked on Turbin’s progress over the course of the evening, and shortly after midnight, it looked like she was ready to deliver. She was on her back in the hospital bed, immobilized by an epidural and pushing, when Abbassi said, ‘I am going to do an episiotomy now.’

Turbin objected: ‘What? Why? We haven’t even tried!’ More than once, she said, ‘No, don’t cut me.’ Surgical scissors in hand, Abbassi explained that the baby’s head was too big and that her ‘butthole’ might ‘rip’ otherwise. Turbin implored him, once again, not to cut her. He said, ‘I am the expert here… Why can’t I do it? You can go home and do it. You go to Kentucky.’ Then, despite her refusals, he cut her perineum 12 times.

The entire episode was caught on video by her mother, standing off to the side in the hospital room.

‘I didn’t know he did that until I saw my video,’ says Turbin. ‘Nobody could tell me why and that’s what bothered me. I was so mad he forced me to do something I didn’t want to do.’

After two years looking for a lawyer who would take her case, Turbin filed a complaint for assault and battery against Abbassi. Her supporters describe it as a potential turning point for the rights of women during childbirth.

A basic legal principle that everyone understands is you need to have consent before that kind of a patient interaction

Episiotomy is a surgical incision of the perineum — the area between the anus and the vulva. During the 18th and 19th centuries, physicians used this technique to speed up delivery but only in dire emergencies. At a meeting of the American Gynecological Society in 1920, however, the leading obstetrician Joseph DeLee recommended that physicians use episiotomy as a matter of course to prevent perineal tears, which can be a normal part of childbirth. The rationale was that a surgical cut is more controllable and heals more easily than a natural tear. By 1979, 62.5% of all births and 80% of first-time vaginal births in the US involved an episiotomy.

From the 1980s, however, clinical research began to indicate that episiotomy should not be considered routine medical practice. It can be a life-saving intervention under certain circumstances but for most births, ‘snipping’ does more harm than good. The procedure is associated with higher levels of pain, edema, bleeding and incontinence — and actually increases the risk of severe tearing.

Today, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend against routine use of episiotomy. NICE’s guidelines on intrapartum care state it should only be done if there is a ‘clinical need,’ such as to relieve fetal or maternal distress.

Episiotomy use varies wildly between countries. In 2010, around 19 percent of vaginal births in England involved episiotomy. The figures were 27–28 percent in France and Germany, 43 percent in Spain and 73 percent in Portugal, but just 5–7 percent in Sweden and Denmark. Around the same time, the US rate was 14 percent, but there is a trend downwards. There is no consensus about what constitutes an appropriate rate.

‘There are cases in which episiotomy remains an appropriate thing to do, but when labor and delivery is progressing normally, there is no indication to do an episiotomy,’ says Dana Gossett, a professor and OB/GYN at University of California San Francisco. ‘Episiotomy has declined over the last three decades because physicians recognize the potential harm and that we should not routinely do an intervention unless there is a clear indication to do so.’

In Turbin’s case, her labor was progressing normally. She was young and healthy, and there were no apparent circumstances that made an episiotomy necessary. Even if there had been a legitimate medical reason, the doctor still needed her consent. Like most patients, Turbin had signed consent forms when she entered the hospital. Those forms stated that she consented to ’emergency treatment, medical or surgical treatments, or hospital services rendered to the patient under the general and special instructions of the physician,’ but also that she had ‘the right to consent or to refuse any proposed operation or procedure at any time prior to its performance.’

Nadia Sawicki, professor of law at Loyola University Chicago, studies the ethics around doctor–patient relationships and informed consent. She says that even though patients sign consent documents when they enter the hospital, that does not mean doctors can perform surgery against their explicit will. If that were so, then anytime anyone entered the hospital, they’d give up their agency entirely.

‘Every time you go to a hospital, you sign consent forms — there is paperwork involved,’ Sawicki explains. ‘But a basic legal principle that everyone understands is you need to have consent before that kind of a patient interaction. You can have a document that says, ‘consent to all treatment,’ but if a doctor hasn’t had a conversation with the patient, that consent document isn’t going to protect the hospital.’

Kimberly Turbin stands about 5 feet tall, with dark hair and dark eyes, glasses, and a warm smile. Her right arm is covered in a sleeve tattoo of flowers, and she has other flower tattoos on her chest and foot. Originally from the Los Angeles area, she moved to Chicago in 2009 for college. She was working at the front desk in a dental practice when she found out she was pregnant.

‘I knew something was different right away,’ she says. ‘It was my first pregnancy, but right then and there, I already knew it was a boy. I was so happy.’

Turbin decided to move back to Los Angeles to be closer to her family during the pregnancy. It was an easy pregnancy — she didn’t even experience morning sickness — and she hoped her birth experience would be similarly smooth. What she got was an unwanted episiotomy.

The experience left her feeling traumatized, upset and violated, but the hospital staff said there was nothing to be done. A representative from the hospital came to her room the next day to ask if she was okay and Turbin said she wasn’t. According to Turbin, the woman handed her a pamphlet about postpartum issues… and that was it.

When Turbin got home, she told family, friends and coworkers about what had happened. Many responded that episiotomies were a standard part of giving birth and she had nothing to complain about because her baby was healthy. But Turbin didn’t think that was right — what happened to her couldn’t be normal. She decided to post her birth video to YouTube and see if it got a reaction. Within a day, the video attracted 13,000 views. Within a few weeks, it hit 100,000. Today, it has over 500,000 views.

‘I was very surprised when we hit 13,000,’ says Turbin. ‘A lot of the responses said, ‘Oh my God, that’s horrible,’ like they knew something was wrong with the situation. I felt very validated. People were making it seem like I was making a big deal out of nothing, but I knew I wasn’t crazy or whiny.’

Turbin sent her video to a group called Birth Without Fear, which she came across while searching for online breastfeeding forums. They brought it to the attention of Dawn Thompson, the founder and president of an advocacy organization, Improving Birth. In many ways, it was the case Thompson had been waiting for. She had tried to raise awareness about ‘obstetric violence’ for years, but one of the biggest obstacles was skepticism that such a thing actually existed. The video meant Turbin’s story could be proved. There was no doubt that she said no and the doctor proceeded anyway.

‘There are thousands of stories like Kim’s, but hers was caught on video,’ says Thompson. ‘Just before she reached out to us, I had been saying that we needed to find documentation, a video, of a doctor being abusive to substantiate the case, so people would know that this is not unusual. Kim’s story is an extreme version, but it’s an issue everywhere.’

Disregard of consent during childbirth and the use of unwarranted interventions are more common than one might like to think. In the Listening to Mothers III survey, a 2013 study of maternity care in the US, 59 percent of participants who had experienced an episiotomy said they did not have a choice about having the procedure. Between 8% and 23% of mothers also reported experiencing pressure for a range of other interventions, including labor induction, epidurals and C-sections. The same pattern holds in the UK. Over 12% of women said they did not give their consent to examinations or procedures in a 2013 survey conducted by Birthrights.

Research from the Harvard School of Public Health has found that bias, prejudice and stereotyping by healthcare providers can contribute to decreased agency for patients and the delivery of lower-quality care. In the Listening to Mothers survey, about one in five black and Hispanic women reported poor treatment from hospital staff due to race, ethnicity, cultural background or language, as compared to one in 12 white women.

‘Women face many violations during maternity care and it is as if their human rights — dignity, bodily and psychological integrity, privacy, equality — do not exist,’ says Camilla Pickles, who studies obstetric violence and the law at the University of Oxford. ‘Subjecting them to a cascade of medical interventions unnecessarily and without informed consent is wrong, harmful to their overall wellbeing and can be dangerous.’

In an ideal world, physicians would only recommend or perform interventions when medically necessary and the necessity of those interventions would be clear. That, however, is not the world we live in. Research shows that the prevalence of certain childbirth interventions has far more to do with where and when the physician was trained, the culture of the hospital, and even the time of day or day of the week. A labor that one doctor views as too slow, another may view as slow but safe.

‘There could be ten women with the same clinical chart and they could make ten different decisions,’ says Hermine Hayes-Klein, founder and executive director of Human Rights in Childbirth. ‘There is so much medical uncertainty with childbirth — the decision-making is not black and white.

‘Underneath the idea that childbirth is somehow complicated or different compared to other kinds of informed consent is the idea that somehow because a woman is pregnant, she has less authority over her body than other people.’

There is a long line of precedent establishing that all competent patients, including those who are pregnant, have the right to decline unwanted medical procedures. In practice, this can be overshadowed by the idea that doctors know better than their patients what is right. If a doctor says something is best, the impulse is generally not to push back.

‘We have this cultural ideal about pregnant women and women in labor as hysterical,’ says Holly Fernandez Lynch, professor of bioethics at Harvard. ‘There is a hierarchy in medicine and you don’t have much control over [what happens]. Then after the fact, people say you are overblowing this. It’s a symptom of how deeply ingrained the idea is that the doctor wouldn’t do anything to harm you.’

Fernandez Lynch adds that there could theoretically be an ethical gray zone if a mother was refusing an intervention that would save the life of her baby, but these cases are exceptionally rare because women in labor are not, in practice, inclined to make choices that put their babies in danger. A situation may be confusing and progressing fast, but physicians still have an ethical duty to inform their patients fully and honestly about what is happening and involve them, to the extent possible, in the decision-making process.

Turbin’s case did not appear to exist in this gray zone. The video of the birth does not indicate that she or the baby were in danger. This is backed up by her medical notes, in which Abbassi wrote: ‘She progressed as per usual… and she delivered a baby boy… spontaneously.’

These records show that some of her wishes were followed: ‘The patient refused any surgical intervention and vacuum, so the 2nd stage was prolonged.’ But then, Abbassi noted, without further explanation, ‘it was necessary to perform episiotomy under local anesthesia.’

In the months following her son’s birth, Turbin struggled with emotional and physical trauma. She was in serious pain and found it difficult to do basic things, like sit down. She bought pillows to sit on and changed her entire diet so that going to the bathroom would be less painful.

‘I bought a NutriBullet and basically only ate blended fruits and vegetables because I was so scared to use the bathroom,’ she says. ‘It was horrible.’

After talking to Thompson and Improving Birth, Turbin filed a complaint with the hospital and met with its director of women’s services. She also filed a complaint with the Medical Board of California. Not satisfied with the responses she was getting, she decided to move forward with a lawsuit for assault and battery.

I feel like the nurses, doctors and hospital only did what was in their best interest, not mine

However, Turbin and her supporters couldn’t find anyone to take the case. They talked to 80 different lawyers over the course of 18 months, and were repeatedly turned down. Either the lawyers thought it should just be a medical malpractice case or they were not willing to work pro bono. Some didn’t think Turbin had a case at all because her baby was fine and her own injuries were not as pronounced as, say, those of Caroline Malatesta — an Alabama woman who suffered a debilitating nerve injury after nurses held her son’s crowning head inside her for six minutes while waiting for the doctor to arrive. With the statute of limitations on assault and battery drawing to a close, Turbin filed the complaint herself.

And then finally, towards the end of 2015, Thompson connected with Mark Merin, a prominent civil rights lawyer in Sacramento, who agreed to accept Turbin’s case. With episiotomy, Merin says, ‘there is a tendency to defer to a doctor as the expert about what is needed or not needed. It’s rare that a woman will assert her autonomy and say no.’ He believes that other lawyers initially thought, ‘What is this woman complaining about? This is a doctor’s decision, not a woman’s decision.’

Even Turbin’s mother, who was in the delivery room with her (and filming), took the doctor’s side and encouraged her daughter to allow the episiotomy, saying ‘He has to do his job’ over Turbin’s protests of ‘No, don’t cut me.’ The decision, however, was Turbin’s, which is why she wanted to bring an assault and battery suit rather than medical malpractice. She and her supporters felt it was a more accurate reflection of what had happened. In a medical malpractice suit, the plaintiff alleges that the doctor behaved in a way that a reasonable doctor would not — by messing up a procedure, performing below standard, or neglecting to get a patient’s full consent. Battery, in contrast, requires proof that the defendant made physical contact with the plaintiff in a harmful or offensive manner against their will.

‘A battery is a pretty extreme characterization of a doctor’s actions,’ says Merin. But, he adds, Turbin was ‘restrained’ and she said the procedure was ‘performed against her will.’

In June 2016, Judge Benny Osorio ruled in the Superior Court of California that Turbin v. Abbassi was properly constituted as a battery lawsuit. In his court order, Osorio wrote that Turbin had ‘alleged a battery based on a deliberate decision to ignore the scope of the plaintiff’s consent, not a negligent failure to disclose a potential complication.’ This meant Californian courts were willing to try incidents like this as potential acts of assault.

This is why it’s so significant. The judge acknowledged the possibility that a doctor performing an episiotomy without the patient’s consent could be committing an act of violence, as opposed to just medical malpractice. Thompson hopes Turbin’s case will have national implications about legal rights during childbirth. It raises awareness about the issue of consent and authority, and shows that there are opportunities for recourse for those who believe they have been subjected to obstetric violence.

‘This is one of the first cases ever of calling it assault and battery,’ Thompson says. ‘Dr. Abbassi is essentially a symbol for me. Women are constantly thanking Kim for standing up for them because they weren’t able to do it for themselves.’

Ultimately, however, Turbin’s case did not reach a full trial. By January 2017, mediation was underway and what turned out to be the last meeting in the process was emotional — the culmination of a journey that had unfolded over many years, one that Turbin was desperate to be done with. When Merin told her that taking the case to trial could take years, she put her head down on the table in despair. The prospect of waiting for a trial and then recounting the entire experience for a judge and jury was overwhelming.

‘Mentally, I was done,’ she recalls. ‘I don’t even know how I got that far. I felt like crying, but I also felt like I made my point.’

Abbassi and Turbin agreed to settle out of court. He had already relinquished his medical license in 2015, having acknowledged that his cognitive functioning meant that he could not continue to safely practice medicine. Despite several attempts to contact Abbassi to hear his side of the story, I was unable to reach him either directly or through his lawyer.

Turbin’s case is extreme, by any measure, but it is an extreme on a spectrum. Around one-third of women experience trauma while giving birth. A recent study published in the journal BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth asked 943 of these women from around the world about their experiences with birth trauma. Two-thirds of them said that their trauma related to the way they were treated by medical professionals. Their statements were startling.

‘I begged not to have a C section, neither I nor my baby were in distress or danger, but because the doctor was ready to go home, he did a terrible section that resulted in almost a year of recovery,’ one woman said.

‘I was steamrolled with unnecessary intervention and didn’t get to speak with a doctor about my options, risks vs. benefits… I feel like the nurses, doctors and hospital only did what was in their best interest, not mine… It was a nightmare,’ said another.

Shared decision-making is supposed to be a part of giving birth, but pressure, manipulation and coercion are not uncommon in the delivery room. In most cases, this is not due to malicious intent. If physicians think a certain course of action is best, it is their duty to express that. However, it is ultimately the patients who have the right to decide what happens to their bodies. Pregnancy does not eclipse agency, but many of those approaching childbirth do not know this. They don’t know that they can say no, or they don’t understand why there might be a need to.

As Turbin discovered when sharing her experience with the people around her, this type of treatment is considered normal in some communities and there can be minimal accountability. Her refusal to accept this response, her willingness to share a deeply intimate video with the world, and her drive to keep pursuing her case through four years of rejections and dismissals all stem from a conviction that no woman should have to endure what she did, especially not without the right to hold those responsible to account. She realized that too many women go through similar experiences and never speak up, which allows the pattern to continue.

‘What’s most unusual about this case,’ says Hermine Hayes-Klein, ‘is that she made it into court. Thousands of women behind her did not have that kind of access.’

More than four years after the birth of her son, Turbin is still coping with the physical and emotional effects. She has suffered through sustained and acute pain, struggling to find a doctor who could help her on public insurance. When she visited a family healthcare clinic that accepted Medi-Cal, looking for help with the vaginal pain, they gave her lubricant and told her to try anal sex. She has also dealt with PTSD, depression and anxiety as a result of the trauma, compounded by her memories of rape.

‘My son has a sad mom sometimes or someone who gets frustrated because she’s in pain,’ she says. ‘I was supposed to be okay and it went completely upside down.’

 -Daily Mail

Landlord Couple From Hell: They Raped A Tenant With An Object Then Killed Him

A bricklayer who was staying at an Airbnb while he worked through ‘personal issues’ has allegedly been killed by the three men who were living on the property.

Ramis Jonuzi was on his way out of a home on Alexander Street in Brighton East on Wednesday night when he was killed in the front yard.

The 36-year-old had only been at the property for a week when he allegedly told a friend that he didn’t like the ‘energy’ of the place and was planning on leaving early, The Age reports.

The three men were living at the Alexander Street address at the time, with Craig Levy listed as the owner of the property on Airbnb.

Ramis Jonuzi

And while past visitors to the property have praised it for being budget friendly at $30 a night, many others complained about everything from the plumbing to feeling ‘unsafe.’

The most recent reviewer, who rented the room in August, said she did not stay at the house because there was no lock on her door and she felt unsafe.

‘Didn’t find the premises appropriate for a female as there was no personal lock on room door!’ The review said.

‘Better way to spend a night, buy a $50 hammer smash your hand with it and go to the emergency hospital,’ another person wrote last November.

So far police have not said how Mr Jonuzi died but it has been said that paramedics attempted to revive him when they arrived on the scene.

Craig Levy
Craig Levy

A spokesman for Airbnb said they were ‘deeply saddened and outraged’ by the tragedy.

‘The family will have our full support and our hearts go out to them and all of his friends,’ the spokesman said.

‘We have removed this listing from our platform and will fully cooperate with law enforcement on their investigation.’