*** Smiling sheepishly***
Early last month, I talked to a friend of mine about a series I wanted to start on the blog, a serious one that would bring to our consciousness an issue we don’t really talk about as Nigeria and the world at large already has a lot of things we are worrying and focusing on. I had wracked my brain so much, yet, I didn’t have a solid idea of what the series should be about until he gave the brilliant idea of abuse. Not domestic abuse as the world now seems to be really talking about it (although we can never talk about it enough) but of the kinds of abuse we don’t really talk about: TRAFFICKING AND RAPE. I thought about it and came to the conclusion that indeed we need to talk about this worm that’s eating into our society. A worm we don’t really pay attention to anymore.
I am a lady and a lover of children. I would never accommodate anything that will bring harm to females and children (I won’t accommodate it for men too but I feel more for women mainly because I belong to that gender) and trafficking and rape are killing our girls and women. Men are also victims of abuse in these forms but we all know women are more victims and have been victims right from the start of time. We used to really talk about trafficking but we don’t really do that anymore but I and the amazing writers refuse to be silent about it.
According to www.equalitynow.org, atleast 20.9 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labour and bonded labour. About 2 million children are exploited every year in the global commercial sex trade. Women and girls make up 98% of victims trafficking for sexual exploitation.
According to the eagle online, in Nigeria, Lagos recorded 678 rape cases last year. This was just in one part in Nigeria. I can’t even imagine what the statistics will be if all the states in Nigeria are taken into consideration, not to talk of Africa and the world at large and sadly, rape happens everywhere.
While doing my research, I stumbled on this report by Premium times Nigeria : No fewer than 200 Nigerian girls are trafficked every month to Russia for prostitution, the Nigeria’s ambassador to Russia, Asam Asam, has said. He further stated that the parents of some of these trafficked children encourage their children as they feel it might be a way out of poverty forgetting the importance of education and of not damaging the future of their precious souls. He said:
You can check these sites as well... dosomething.org. premiumtimes Nigeria
“I spoke to the mother of one of the girls and she said her daughter should remain in Moscow and try to survive the ordeal, this is very sad indeed coming from one’s parent.”
Our precious girls that are children, that should be treated like children, that should still laugh and play so hard they make you marvel at God’s awesomeness are ripped off of their childhood. They are forced to grow up fast. They are beaten, starved, manipulated and made to grace the beds of shameless men that stain their innocence with abuse and forced labour. They are raped and sold like they are worthless beings. They are seen as a source of income, a way to get rich fast without doing anything but parading the beauty of these precious souls. Our women are also treated like that and our girls grow up to be some of these women. Women that have known nothing other than pain. Women that have been wounded and start seeing abuse as normal, start seeing themselves as sexual objects, start defining their beauty and existence on their ability to perform well in bed, start working ‘very hard’ to make their ‘master’ happy and bring in the most money. Even if they get out, a lot has already been taken away from them. They will accept misguided concept of love, they will give themselves to men that will take advantage of their vulnerabilities and refuse to protect them too easily and they won’t know they are victims because they don’t even know what it means to be a victim.
We might call the rape victims ‘lucky’. Afterall, they were not trafficked (most sexual trafficking comes with rape. Even forced labour trafficking as well), they were not taken to a strange land to wear clothes that make the shameless men salivate, ready to devour their priced possession. They were only raped either by people they know or those they don’t. But they can’t talk about it. It is shameful is what the society makes them believe even though it’s better now. Many rape victims don’t report it as the police do not even really take most of them seriously. We make it seem like it’s their fault; ‘you shouldn’t have walked that late at night’. ‘You shouldn’t have worn that clothe’ like they wished it upon themselves and even those that are covered up from head to toe, that didn’t walk in that quiet neighborhood at night, we still look for something to point out so we can blame them and they suffer in silence.
In Nigeria and in most African countries, our girls are given out in marriage to men old enough to be their grandfathers. Men who are meant to protect them and the world moves on. It has become normal but is it normal to these precious souls? Is abuse normal to victims of domestic abuse, rape and trafficking? They are taken to countries like Belgium, Italy, Germany, U.S, the Netherlands. Most of them are taken by those they trusted. Most are raped by even their fathers and this evil is done by some women who are meant to protect these girls with everything they have. Tactics such as starvation, drug use, violence, promising to release them if they do one more, making them feel pretty are used by the evil men and women that commit these crimes against humanity.
A friend, Ayomide, came up with the tittle ‘WAR ON WOMEN’ and he explained that indeed these crimes are not only against girls but also against women as our girls grow up to be women. Our girls might grow up to be mothers and don’t you think they will expose those children to abuse as they don’t know better? Some of our girls, girls that are not more than 12 already have babies inside of them. They are forced to become women. So people, these war is against women and we have to do something. You will not only be seeing female writers, you will be reading stuff from male writers as well as this issue also affects them. They were born of a woman and they will be with one someday if they are not already with one. These are not only issues happening in Nigeria, they are happening everywhere but most of the writers will be focusing on Nigeria. Let’s start from somewhere.
This is a series you want to be a part of. MSB readers are amazing but this time, I need you to be very active readers, talk about this evil as well by sharing this post and the ones to come on the different social media’s you use. If you are not subscribed to the blog, now is the time to (It is easy and free. All we need is your email address) and if you are finding it difficult to subscribe, kindly bookmark this page and check it every Saturday for weeks to come. I will be posting every Saturday by 12pm (that way, you won’t have an excuse not to read and I, not to post), so please watch this space.
Like I told the beautiful writers participating in this series, our writing might provoke a change and it might not. Either ways, we will know we tried. Let’s be their voice as silence can kill them faster than the harm being done to them. Have a fanta-bulous weekend lovies and do not forget to share this post.
PS: If you want to contribute to the series in terms of a write-up, you can send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org