Girl Child on My Mind

 

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” Frederick Douglas

First off, I would like to say thanks to God for his continually blessings in my life, and to everyone thanks for taking your time to read my blog. I appreciate the support and I am grateful for it.

I wanted to talk about an issue that has been on my mind for a while.

I come from Sierra Leone West Africa and now living in the United States. Today I would like to talk about one of the main issues affecting a girl child in the world at large and specifically Sierra Leone.

Rape is something that is affecting lots of children in Sierra Leone especially the girl child and the effect though minimized by society, does have an everlasting effect on the child.

I am writing this piece not to talk about whether I was raped or not, I just wanted to talk about the realities of rape victims especially with what I have seen.

One situation that is very familiar in Sierra Leone,is where a family would welcome the male child of their relatives or a father’s younger brother or a mother’s younger brother(Paternal and Maternal Uncle or just a cousin or distant relation) to live in their home along with their young girl child between the ages of 8-16 years old child. This uncle or distant relative of this family rapes this little girl from childhood to her teenage life as long as they are living together in the same house,some times without the knowledge of the parent. The child is too young to understand what is happening to her, she starts having behavioral issues, acting like an adult or being extremely defiant. Nobody knows what she is going through because she is so scared to talk to anyone not even her parent because she thinks they might not believe her or because the perpetrator may threaten her.

As Parents we should be able to ask our children questions, offer them platforms to tell us when something affects them or talk to them when you notice a difference in their  behavior. Some people might become aware of this situation but instead of helping this little girl, they would sometimes say maybe this child asked to be raped because she dresses like an adult and she is suggestive in her behaviors. Whether it is your child or not you have the responsibility to look out and report any misconduct as these children are the future of our country.

Then the parent comes to realize that this adult or family member that he trust so much has been doing this despicable act to her child, the parent not understanding what steps to take would keep it “hush hush” among family members only or sometimes blame the child or not wanting to have society frown at her child or judge her as if it was her child’s fault to be raped or as if she asked for it.

The consequences for this adult for violating this little princess for almost all of her childhood and teenage life is absolutely NOTHING!!!!!!!! He gets away with it, and all that comes from it is,him  being asked to move out of the house and the  parent or relative believing this solves everything and not thinking about the effect this adversity would have on a child. It becomes a vicious circle, one person violating many children becomes no one  knows what to do or maybe no  one wants to make their child society’s ridicule.  

This little girl has been subjected to abuse and for the rest of her life she would not really understand what has happened to her.

In Sierra Leone there is statutory rape law as far as I know, (I might be wrong) but unfortunately these same lawmakers are the ones violating and taking advantage of the  little children so nothing comes out of it even when reported to the law because they themselves are perpetrators. That would be  another story for another time,(to be continued some other time,People in power vs young children). I have not heard of anyone being prosecuted for something they did let say 10 years ago especially with raping a young child at an early age.

 As women, they get to live with the scars of being raped for the rest of their lives with no one to talk about it with  or any program or form of rehabilitation for them, whilst the abuser goes on with his life as if everything he did to you at such a young age was fine and that no one can do anything about it. Society has failed these women and keeps on failing these beautiful children. I hope that we put in place a system to be able to protect all our children from these heinous acts. 

I am only admonishing fellow Sierra Leoneans, and parents all over the world, RAPE is destructive and it affects a child emotionally, physically and mentally and it is never the fault of the child. The abuser should be ostracized or should have the  law of our country take it full cause. 

We need to understand, a child cannot and is not able to make adult decisions and every child should be given the opportunity to live as a child especially the girl child. Please stop taking our children’s innocence!!!!!!

NO MAN SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A CHILD AND GET AWAY WITH IT especially in this 21st century.  

As it’s rightly put by a man whom I believe is an icon and an example to the world, one of my heroes, “There can be no keener revelation of society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Nelson Mandela

Let us put hands together and treat our children rightly with the love and care they need especially the girl child who is vulnerable to these issues.  

Thanks for reading.

Leave your comments or thought on the issue of rape especially in Sierra Leone.

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