WAITING FOR THE NEXT VICTIM
At the most congested and densely populated neighboughood commonly known as Checkpoint Molyko in Buea in the South West Region of Cameroon leaves the most notorious men (Bullies, scammers, drug addicts and above all rapist).
The African belief in extended family though it has its positive effect, the negative outcome of such families are also far reaching when we look at the ills performed on one or another member of the family by either a cousin, uncle, or even brothers, and fathers.
On the 17th of March 2013 Mrs. Joyce ran into my living room shaking and crying.
“God, what is this world turning into? Cried Mrs. Joyce
After 30minuts of trying to comfort and calm her down, she was able to speak. She narrated one of the most painful stories to me about her three year old child (Brenda). She said this child had been abused by her husband’s cousin who is 25 years old. She explained that she was coming from the hospital (Buea Regional Hospital) where the child has been hospitalized. She said the child has suffered serious damages.
The following consequences of the child rape were emphasized by the doctor who attended to her;
The child suffered from Bladder damaged, torn vagina (destruction of vagina) Deformation of her anatomy, profuse Bleeding.
The child is traumatized, filled with fear and withdrawn
The doctor said that more damages could be suffered by the child or other children under the same dilemma:
Sexually transmitted infections like syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia and other diseases that might come along are non gonococal urethritis cause by enterobacteracea such as proteus species
Proper development of secondary sexual characteristics (like the formation of breast) could be affect
The child may develop a malformed Womb due to the damage. This is because the distance from the vagina and the womb is short and the child is still developing. This may cause problems of conception in later life. In the case of this, the child will have to be stitched immediately. In the case when the raped child is not attended to immediately, the walls of the wound will have to be scraped before stitching and this is usually very painful
Some intestines may be pushed to the wrong positions. All these Leaving life long scars that may never heal
Painful enough as the situation could be, the other family members raised walls of resistance and fight against the child’s parents for reporting the rapist to the police. Following the financial constrains faced by the victims, the rapist went scot-free rooming the streets of Check Point Molyko like a hero probably looking for his next victims. The child’s parents and other sympathizers focused their attention on getting proper medical assistance for the child.
The mother of Brenda (rape victim) became so close-up. She kept blaming herself for what had happened to her daughter. Yes, her husband was equally hurt by the act, but at one point turned the blame to the woman. I think it was just a way for him to lay his frustration on somebody and unfortunately, that person was his wife. Her marriage was almost at the blink of breaking up. She turned to spend most of her time at my home. I took her to a psychologist, took her for prayers and regular counseling with a pastor. Slowly, she gathered the peaces of her marriage and that of her daughter. Some financial assistance was given to her by a local group to which we belong to commonly known as “You and Me”.
She moved out from Checkpoint Molyko nieghbourhood to a more secure and reserved neighbourhood.
One begins to wonder if there are no mechanisms put in place to handle such issues. And, if at all it does exist, why are people not making good use of it? It is clear that the State counsel is there for the masses, what then could be the problem? Some may say that a majority of the victims would not want to be stigmatized. Well, it’s more than enough pain living with the issue bottled up in us just because we do not want stigma. The aftereffect of staying quiet is worst than the stigma to me. However, one would turn to think that the fact that a majority of rapist have always gone victorious could be regarded as an indication that the government of Cameroon shows a lot of indifference on such pertinent and dehumanizing issues or that, the mechanism are not very effective. My prayer therefore is that, a state lawyer (advocate) be put in place (such as at the Police stations) to assist the less privilege victims of rape and other forms of abuse in Cameroon so that situations like this will not be repeated. Secondly the mechanisms put in place for such victims be made known to the public through the media and local churches. This will help curb the situation of rape in Cameroon.