Agnes Jebet Tirop (23 October 1995 – 13 October 2021) was a celebrated Kenyan professional athlete. Her body was found in her home in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, on 13 October 2021. She had multiple stab wounds in her neck and abdomen. The alleged killer, her husband, Ibrahim Rotich.

Rotich had crashed his car into a truck in Athi River, southeast of Nairobi, while trying to flee the country.

During her career, Ms Tirop had success as both a junior – winning 5,000m bronze at world championships in 2012 and 2014 – and as a senior, winning the World Cross Country championships in 2015.

Tirop was the second-youngest person ever to win the World Cross Country Championships, after South Africa’s Zola Budd.

In August 2021, she finished fourth in the 5,000m final at the Tokyo Olympics. In 2017 and 2019 she won the 10,000m bronze at the World Athletics Championships.

In September 2021, she broke the women-only 10km road-race record by 28 seconds in Germany, setting a new time of 30 minutes and one second.

The statistics on gender-based violence are heartbreaking:

  • Globally, 1 in 3 women experience either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence during their lifetime.
  • Globally, 7% of women have been sexually assaulted by someone other than a partner.
  • Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.
  • 200 million women have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting.

GBV ranges from physical, sexual, emotional and other family violence to female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage, early childbearing, trafficking and sexual violence as a weapon of war.

GBV cuts across all social and economic boundaries in both developing and developed countries. It could be her, her or me.

Rest in Peace Agnes Tirop.

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If you found this article interesting, you might also want to read Chronicling Zimbabwe’s History of Rape as Political Violence or Gender-Based Violence in South Africa or 10 Trailblazing African Women in Sport