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FOR WHOM HAVE WE LEFT OUR CHILDREN?

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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?

Comments

jap21's picture

Hi Kurui

I might be a little short in my language skills, but what I understand for defilement is "to dishonor" which may or may not involve raping or physical abuse. Please be kind and explain to me if the little 18 month old girl has been raped or not...

Even if she wasn´t raped, it is terrible to know that mothers can be capable of forgetting their very first responsibility which is to protect their children.

This is not new in society, but as it has been stated by authors in law, our freedom can be used to hurt others, and if someone robs you in the street, he can get away with your money, but not with your freedom to let him know that what he is doing is wrong. So, no matter how many times people do wrong things, I will not accept it. I will shout to the world that this behavior is unacceptable, and I celebrate your coming forward to say that this is wrong, and it will continue to be wrong no matter what type of excuses they can make up.

Thank you for writing about this.

Hugs,

Jackie

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America
www.jap21.wordpress.com

Kurui's picture

Hi Jackie

Thanks for your reply. Sorry for the lack of clarity in my wording but yes,the 18 month old was raped-sexually abused by her father. She was treated severally for this and it is the hospital that sent out the word to the press. The word defilement has been accepted as a 'politically correct' one for the gross atrocities.
It is really a serious and very disturbing situation that am yet to understand.
Thanks.
Kurui.
Edna Chepkurui-Kenya

olutosin's picture

My response

Thanks for this post dear, Cant you see that JAP cannot understand the post yes,it is incomprehensible! I sent a response earlier now but I happy because it is better lost than posted, this is so infuriating. Who will a child trust if not the parents, Are you not afraid that the mother is an accomplice? You begin to wonder if the child never suckle her mother's breast or the useless mother did not knee down in labour during delivery.

As I always advise people who witnessed cases of child sexual abuse by trusted irresponsible adults, I advise you to visit a clinical psychologist because the experience can make one to become hysterical or you can even begin to suspect every man around you.

They will tell us that these things are new, but they are not,only that these days we are opening our eyes and training responsible adults to prevent sexual abuse of children. This is how it has been from the beginning but these days God is catching up with perpetrators, it is better to tie a big rock around the neck of this useless father and throw him inside Indian ocean or the red sea that for allowing him to lay his eyes on me,how I wish thunder can just strike him dead. We should continue to educate these children and make them understand that no adult is a saint all they would do is to confide in other responsible adults who they feel safe with, I am sure that there are rape crisis centres in Kenya, none in Nigeria yet.
Thanks so much for coming out to say no to this dastardly act as I know that you will learn and continue to teach children how to speak out.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Kurui's picture

Who to trust

Olutosin thanks for your reply. There are many organizations working on rape and sexual violence issues here in Kenya. The problem is whether the cases are reported or not. In most cases, they are not reported because of fear and stigmatization. It is worst in the case where it happens within a family that is supposed to be where one's security lies.
The challenge for me is how those working on these issues could create a channel that breaks the fears and stigma and those that penetrate families. This is because a criminal is a criminal whoever they are to a the offended.
Regards,
Edna.

Mei Li's picture

Your voice is beautiful in

Your voice is beautiful in this piece of writing. It feels like mama bear with tears in her eyes - when do we howl instead of crying?

This happened close to home for me within the past two months. My second cousin, who was 10 weeks old, was brought into the E.R. with two broken arms and legs and evidence of sexual abuse from the father.

Ten....weeks....old....

And the mother, my cousin who is estranged from me, but who lives in the same state as and sees my mother regularly - was still with the father of their child after this.

I am currently knee-deep in books like Feminist Fairytales - Barbara Walker's re-telling of fairy tales in a feminist voice, Women Who Run With Wolves, numerous issues of pro-feminist magazine Bitch; Goddesses, Whores, Virgins and Slaves. I just came back from the bookstore and spent most of my time in front of Women's Issues.

All I can say is that we keep reading and we keep our eyes open. We pay attention to the rapid heart beat and the easily formed tears in our eyes when we bare witness to defilement in any way. We don't turn our heads, we raise our voices. We make it known that it is happening and strive toward a collective voice. What else can we do?

It makes me think of my passion to work with Queer youth. I want to because a large percentage of teenage runaways are queer. They came out to their families - possibly the only sense of safety and security they have ever known - and are rejected, demoralized, and redefined as deviant. Where can we go when home is not safe? What can we do to understand it? I've embarked on the journey of understanding my mother's story, how the roles of wife and mother had blurred her perception of self-worth, how in trying to "provide" for her children she kept us in an unsafe emotional environment. I have to understand how this happened to her to avoid the same unraveling and to teach women and girls alternatives to silencing themselves and learning to live as empowered examples for the children who will learn everything from them through both learned and unlearned behavior.

Please keep writing, I will continue reading.

"...our compassion is the practice of unconditioning." Jakusho Kwong Roshi

Kurui's picture

We will fight on

Thanks Li for your encouraging comments. These are really tough situations to deal with but we must try.
I would also be happy to know how you go about unraveling the mystery of silence that destroys. It will be very helpful for me as am also trying to strategize how these voices can be heard without fear or shame.

olutosin's picture

I JUST CANT

Dear, I just cant but comment, I do not really know where we pack our bag and baggage that we add these jelly men to the loads we carry, these ones that should be cut like chunk of meat and throw for pigs.
Thanks for adding your voice friend

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

rizwana's picture

hi.....

Dear hi
dont know how to react realy heartbreaking....... brutal/.............

nilima's picture

its really sad to hear this

its really sad to hear this story!!! how can he be so cruel .....
your voice on this story make all of us aware to be careful!!

Lilith784's picture

This is just awful, and it

This is just awful, and it happens in the global North, too. I think part of the explanation lies in the fact that women are being told that they are nothing without a man, and that they are supposed to measure their worth in the approval they receive from men. The overwhelming fear of being nothing, worthless, keeps them from even protecting their children. While of course I cannot fully understand what is going on inside the heart and mind of a women in this situation, I know it is extremely important that we create a community where women can develop healthy self-esteem that makes them strong and independent. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us, Kurui! I hope you and your friends find a lot of love and support among each other.

Kurui's picture

Thanks all

I am really touched by all of you who have followed up my sad story. Lilith784, your reply presents me with a step in solving such an issue:create a community where women can develop healthy self-esteem that makes them strong and independent. This is actually very important as part of the solutions.
Thanks all.

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