FOR WHOM HAVE WE LEFT OUR CHILDREN?
Am still not recovered from a heart breaking story in our local media of an 18-month old baby girl who has been defiled over and over by her own father with full knowledge of her mother.
She (mother) reportedly told the reporter who interviewed her that she would never leave her husband for he is everything to her and her poor daughter. I cannot judge her whatsoever but is this justification enough to put an innocent life on the line. Is the future of this poor soul better off without food or shelter or with the permanent and painful scars of defilement by her own father?
I have been feeling helpless over such cases most of which go unreported for fear of shame to the family thinking of what permanent solutions could be put in place. As am still wallowing in the sense of helplessness, a close friend calls me last evening with devastating news of the same nature. This time closer home for the victim is my best friend’s niece.
The girl has been subjected to the inhumane act since she was 4 years old by her father. We are yet to know if she has ever told her mother or not before we see what to do as my friend has asked for my assistance. This girl is now 18 years old and is currently living with her mother’s sister where she ran to a week ago when the father tried to attack her. She revealed (though on a phone call) to my friend that she escaped the father’s atrocities in the past 4 years when she went to boarding school for high school studies. She is now back home after completing her studies last year and the father is at it once more. At least she can now make a choice but my worst fear is what the mother thinks if she knows all these.
How desperate can a woman be as to expose her child(ren) to untold danger and suffering in the name of protecting her image, well-being or marriage. A writer commenting on the story of the 18-month old poor girl noted that, when a mother and/father stop identifying with the pain of his/her child, then the society is in trouble. I totally agree with her for where will we get as women in our struggles if we don’t move with the needs of our children? Who are we struggling to leave the legacy for if our inheritors are destroyed under our watch?
It is my first time to follow a defilement case at a personal level and it is a real challenge for me as I embark on helping my best friend with his niece’s case. I hope I will unravel the mystery of women placing their children on harms way knowingly and be able effect some change somewhere.
As I said before, despite the magnitude of such crimes to the society, I cannot in any way judge or blame a mother for the choices they make for am not in their shoes but the children definitely need to be protected. And by whom, but their primary care givers who happen to be you and me: the womenfolk. The blame will never escape us, so we can never struggle for ourselves leaving our children to suffer especially knowingly while deciding to keep quite. Is this really helplessness or apathy that borders on selfishness?