Child Protection, the Doctrine of Silent Treatment and the Untold Evil Thereof (4)

The fifth scenario is where a group of children are affected by an injustice or abuse and a large class of society, who could make a difference of social intervention, keeps quiet because they believe their children are not directly affected. Another variation of this scenario is where a neigbour or someone very close to a family is aware or suspects that a child is being abused and he/she keeps quiet, claiming he/she is minding his/her own business.

A typical example is the total submission of the majority of our people to the worst of the doctrine of silent treatment after the incessant killing of school children in the northern parts of Nigeria. My response to our submission to the doctrine of silence treatment is the article I earlier referred to in the opening of this piece, ‘when a nation sheds the blood of its future.’

The sixth scenario are parents or custodians, who aware that their children are being taught what is contrary to what they believe by an institution of learning and they keep quiet. When they are aware that are aware that the school is not living up to its responsibility, they simply keep quiet and would not do anything meaningful to make a demand as the parents. They do not seem themselves as clients, who must demand explanation and get same.

The seventh scenario is where someone who suffers terrible childhood abuse, would become an adult and keep it away from those(like spouses) who deserve to know and can make tangible contributions to his or her healing. He/she continues to live in the bondage of his/her past in silence. The spouse begins to suffer for what he or she is not aware of. These ones suffer from triple loss: they are robbed of their childhood without their consent (a child does not have any capacity whatsoever to consent to any form of abuse), they rob themselves of their adulthood as a result of their abused childhood and they reproduce themselves in the next generation under their influence. This is pathetic. It ought not to be so. If you are robbed of your childhood it is not your fault but if you allow your abused childhood to rob you of your adulthood and the peace of your children, you are to be blamed fully.   Now you have the opportunity to put your destiny into your hands but you are losing the full grip of the opportunity to the doctrine of silent treatment. The reason for your lack of peace today is not necessarily your childhood abuse but, your submission to the whiles of the doctrine of silent treatment.

A lady is married with two children. Her marriage is seven years old and she is thirty-four. Her children are girls and she literally ties them to her apron strings. She is a teacher. She registers her children in the school where she teaches. She would check on them at every available opportunity and when the opportunities are not available, she would create them at the expense of her job. Everyone around her wonders why she feels her children is not safe with anyone, male or female. You do not need to stay around her for too long before you discover that she is paranoid about her children. Her husband is not spared in her unfounded suspicion, so also are the children themselves. They wonder what the problem is with their mother. Unfortunately her paranoia is obvious to everyone around her but herself. She would not hire a nanny, despite her husband’s many plead. The situation is beginning to drive her marriage to the rocks.

A group of Social Empowerment Advocate visits her school recently to give a talk on how to deal with childhood abuse. After the talk, she breaks down as she privately tells her story to the lead advocate of the group. She was sexually molested from childhood to teenage age by a trusted adult male house help employed by her parents. He lived in the boy’s quarters but was moved to the guest room as a result of what her parents referred to as his ‘faithfulness.’ He began to abuse her when he was living at the boys’ quarters and being moved into the main building now granted him unfettered access to abuse her. Her parents never got to know.

When she left home for higher institution, she decided that as a commitment to put the matter behind her, she would never tell anyone about it. She met her husband and they courted for close to four years and she never mentioned her damaging experience of childhood abuse to him. They have been married for seven years and the husband is not aware. The lead social empowerment advocate advises her to begin by opening up to her husband. She must find the wisdom and the appropriate time to open discussion with her husband. She may need to go for counseling and be professionally advised on how to open the inevitable discussion with her husband. She is advised that she would need her husband, who may initially feel disappointed to walk through to the Promised Land, the thick forest of psychological (fertilized by submission to the doctrine of silent treatment) healing with her. She would need a lot of psychosocial help, she is told. She is also full of bitterness as she says she has found it difficult to forgive her parents for trusting her with a male adult house help. It is more difficult for her to forgive the house help, who took advantage of her and the trust her parents has in him. She is also told that she hold her parents responsible, she would also need to open a discussion with them in her quest to properly deal with her past and pave way to enjoying her presence. She is told that the past she does not deal with, she will surely end up with as it is with her right now.

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

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