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Peter's Story

Client seen at CVT Nairobi

Peter* was beaten and stoned by his neighbors because he was gay. They wanted to kill him. He was living with his husband in a country in Africa. When his family learned he was gay, they rejected him. The neighbors attacked him, calling him an abomination. After the beating, the police arrested Peter instead of taking him to a hospital.

After the beating, the police arrested Peter instead of taking him to a hospital.”

Peter eventually escaped to Nairobi, where he found CVT’s LGBTI group counseling program. When he began counseling, he was feeling overwhelmed by his thoughts. He said he felt worthless – like no one cared whether he existed or not. Peter made great progress at CVT, but his life was still very difficult in Kenya. He had no income. He was forced to move house time after time because once his neighbors learned his status, they became hostile.

Peter attempted suicide twice after fleeing to Kenya.

At one point, police forcefully moved him and others to the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya. Because he protested this move, Peter was detained for one month. He was humiliated daily by the police, who even forced him to sleep with a woman in an attempt to change him.

Peter was able to return to Nairobi and came back to CVT for individual counseling as part of CVT’s aftercare program for LGBTI clients. Today he says he still fears the police but has started taking walks in his neighborhood and does breathing exercises when he feels overwhelmed.

Peter says CVT made him feel like a person again. He realized not all human beings are out to harm him.

*Name and some details have been changed for safety and to protect confidentiality.
Photo credit: Dreamstime.

CVT’s work in Nairobi is made possible by a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration; the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture; the S.L. Gimbel Advised Fund at The Community Foundation – Inland Southern California; and Steven Walker.

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