QUESTIONS FROM A CHILD
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In the past two weeks I have been participating in a peer to peer education program organised by Women, Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) Nigeria, where children from different schools are educated about their rights, child trafficking, sexual abuse and other vices that affect them. It is really fun working with children and it has been a wonderful experience. Spending time with them gave me an insight into their thoughts, their experiences, their expectations, their understanding, their ignorance, their curiosity and their desire to change the world. Though I must say I was really amazed about what children know these days. They grow up so fast. During the peer to peer education programs children are always given the opportunity to ask questions and so far two questions really touched me and have been lingering on my mind daily.
A 12year old boy asked
“How can our parents, uncles, aunties, brothers, sisters and other relatives sexually abuse us when we have the same blood?”
A 10 year old girl also asked
“Why will our parents who love us so much give us out to traffickers?”
The look on the faces of these children and the tone of their voices when they asked these questions just reflected how much they wanted to understand what they consider utterly impossible. These questions also give an insight into the mental battles that take place in the mind of children who are victims of abuse, how much they try to process unexpected happenings in their lives. I mean, no matter how unsafe the world is, a child always grows up feeling safe at home, with his or her family but we live in an era where fathers sexually abuse their daughters; brothers rape their sisters; uncles spend holidays with their nephews and sexually abuse them; and some parents cover these things when they happen because of the family name. So how can a child really feel safe in such circumstances?
When the first question was asked, it was followed by a minute of silence, the adults in the room were struck dumb and all the facilitator who taught the children about child sexual abuse could slowly say is “the world is bad, really really bad”
My dear VOY Bloggers, I would love to hear your response to the two questions stated above. How would you properly answer those questions to a child in a way that he or she would really understand?