By OZIOMA ONYENWEAKU
Do you recall the sexual assault case I used as an example last time? I stated there that the girl would not have forgiven her mother if she was eventually violated by her father. A lot of people have asked me why I felt so; and why the girl would blame her mother and not her father.
Is that also your question? It is not that I ‘feel’ that the girl would blame her mother. I know so. I have interacted and involved a lot in children matters to know so. She, sure, would hate her father for violating her but she would blame her mother and might go as far as hating her mother too; that, I can conveniently tell you. You see, children, have a huge expectation of their mothers; expectation next to what we expect of God.
Children actually see mothers as capable of doing possibly anything. Mothers can fix anything; virtually everything. I remember when my little boy then asked me to remove his face and give him his sister’s kind of face. Funny, isn’t it? But he was quite serious.
To him, mum could do it! I found myself sweating. I just did not want to tell him mum wouldn’t be able to do that. However, I handled it perfectly well! I came out victorious! Yeah! (You’ve got to write in if you want to know how I did it without disappointing the boy). Take it from me, children believe mothers have special powers, and unseen eyes all over their bodies to observe and discern what goes on around them. I once asked a girl why she believed her mother should have known about an issue. Her reply? “Is she not a mother?” Children simply want you mothers to pick the clues, observe the signs, and discern the changes. One of the participants at a workshop for girls, in giving a vote of thanks, requested my team and I to plead with mothers to sit up and be more involved in their children’s lives. She bitterly complained that many mothers did not know what went on in their homes, the companies their children kept, the habits they had picked, and (in her words) “and they call themselves ‘mothers’” I believe that mothers are naturally endowed with certain foresight. Mothers are quite observant, quite intuitive, meticulous, and are given to details. It is the application of these natural endowments that stand the mothers out, and make them the pride of the home. We are going to delve more into this.
Meantime, let us take a look at this true life story as a case study. Rose (name has been changed) was a lively 12 year old girl whose mother was her world. Rose’s father had died before Rose turned 7. Rose was the only child. She had an uncle that she was very fond of. Rose was always at her best any time this uncle visited; she would jump on him, hug him and be all over him. The uncle, on his own part, was showering Rose with many gifts. A loving uncle! On one of his visits, Rose’s mother left Rose and her uncle at home and went to the market. That day the devil struck! Rose was raped by her uncle. Rose cried herself to sleep. When Rose’s mother came back, Rose did not come out of her room to welcome the mother as she was wont to do.
The uncle was in the sitting room. Rose’s mother had to call out several times before Rose sluggishly came out to greet her mother. When she came out, she smiled at no one and spoke to no one. The mother was surprise, and asked if Rose was not happy that she was back. Rose said nothing. “Maybe, because the big girl just woke up from sleep”, the uncle playfully interjected, and tried touching Rose; Rose cringed and drew away from him. Rose’s mother accepted waking up from sleep to be the reason for the change in attitude, and did nothing.
That, of course, was the beginning of several sexual abuses that Rose suffered at the hand of her uncle. Rose grew to hate her mother. What do you think could be Rose’s reason for hating her mother over the rape incident? Can you identify the underlying cause of what happened between Rose and her uncle? Do you see this case as revealing any area for parents to work on in safeguarding their children against sexual abuse? Please write in. See you next week. Stay safe.