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Monday, September 19, 2011

RAPE OF THE INNOCENT

BACKGROUND
I read an article on  Linda Ikeji's blog,about the pathetic story of a young domestic servant, and it got me thinking. The story was earlier featured in Vanguard Newspaper in Nigeria but i missed reading it there.The girl i saw in the photo is a nine years old, named Favour. There were conspicuous marks of canes all over her body. Injuries inflicted on an obviously hungry Favour, by her madam, one Alhaja Amina Ukegbu also include blood-shot eyes for eating gala without permission .

The kind of beating and assault meted out to young Favour can't not be administered on any of Alhaja's children while she still lives, i believe.

Having a house help is like adopting a child without so much of legality attached. Like the fostering system from the old times, where women in their child bearing ages especially take up children of other relations to live with them. They bring them up like their own and in return those adoptees help run errands for whom ever adopted them. There have been stories of many who don't even know their biological mothers as their mother, because there was no reason to regret living with whoever it was they were living with.

This Alhaja Amina was so inhuman to favour to the extent that she could not provide proper shelter for her and this exposed her to being raped over and over by two adults Aboy and Japan, in the neighbourhood. According to the girl, they raped on a daily basis.

 My Take:
1. Favour is a victim of a broken home. She has three other siblings and if care is not taken, they could become victims too, of rape or some other social vices.

2. Favour is a victim of child abuse in the sense that she is being asked to earn her own living by working for Alhaja even before she could take decisions by herself. In the course of her work, her left finger has been cut off, and she has burns on her hands.

3.She as a child has not been given any protection whatsoever, thereby exposing her to child molesters. She slept on the balcony every night.

4. she has suffered neglect from her aunt Chioma who gave her out to Alhaja to engage in child labour, because she does not visit her frequently. apart from this, she was not observant enough to see if there were physical or psychological changes in the girl whenever she  eventually visit. in addition, neglect from Alhaja who felt comfortable travelling out of the country, leaving a nine year old alone to her own whim and caprice. Notable and fairly commendable was the fact that it was Favours father who noticed the cane scars and raised alarm

5. she was constantly bullied by her two rapists with a threat to deal with her if she told anyone. not only was she threatened by those men but also by Alhaja who was supposed to be her guardian. she lied constantly to cover up the misdemeanour of Alhaja and her rapists.

6.She was never enrolled in any school. In this day and age it is very callous for anybody particularly in the city to keep any child from education.

Thankfully, a Non Governmental Organisation, Rhode Haven has since taken the case up. I hope the psychological and physical wounds Favour has being inflicted with heal fast, because she went through a very traumatic and dehumanising experience.
It is indeed a rape of the poor girl both physically and psychologically.

6 comments:

  1. wow! things are happening.child abuse a serious issue,she needs serious counselling to heal her emotionally. I really feel for her, she is about my daughters'age.
    Justice must be done to all the heartless people involved.

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  2. I will never be able to imagine what it feels like or look like to try and have sexual intercourse with an underage... it is pathetic and criminal. Sad tale and i pray and hope this never happens again.

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  3. @bukky,
    Thanks for stopping by and your comments. I pray God will continue to protect our young ones from predators hunting around.

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  4. @TAIWO OLUKAYODE,
    Our prayers are the same on this. Thanks for your visit.

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  5. I think this may continue to happen somehow,until our government takes a hard step about this.....and i wld want to use this medium to encourage NGOs and mothers in general to sponsor a bill to the National assembly,advising the Fed. Govt to enact a law that wl take care of issues like this- Dipo Ogunleye

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  6. @Dipo, Thanks for your comment. Without any apologies to the legislators, bills have been known to take forever, hence the reluctance of many from sponsoring bills. Nonetheless, it is a good idea if we have laws that are enforceable regarding this kind of criminal act.

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