Child Protection, the Doctrine of Silent Treatment and the Untold Evil Thereof (5)

As I begin to round up permit me to make the following further observation of the doctrine of silent treatment:

1. It is very common in our continent. It appears to be the way we have accepted to deal with the most sensitive issues of our life. Therefore it has become the natural order. It is a doctrine, we must deliberately work against if we must defeat all the scenarios of the doctrine shared above.

2. The Doctrine of Silent Treatment will never be in the best interest of our children and other children. It will only do more harm to children.

3. The Doctrine of Silent Treatment must never be embraced as an option in handling child protection issues. We must always fight decently, consistently, contentiously and knowledgeably to prevent and remedy abuse of our children. Our cardinal principle in doing the foregoing must be the best interest of our children. We must not be selfish by looking out for our children alone. It must also be our cardinal principle that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ as Martin Luther King Junior said. In this case, we must accept that injury to one child is an injury to all. Therefore if anything negative happens to your child in a school, the best option will not be to silently remove your child from the school. I think the most decently and selfless option is to bring the issue to the attention of the appropriate authority in the school. Give them the opportunity to address the issue. If they prove incompetent, then you may remove your child as the last option, but you may also need to go a step further to sensitize other parents on the issues as a way of forcing the school to sit up to its responsibilities. The question must always be what explanation would I give to my conscience and posterity, if I do not speak up to a revealed injustice to my child, which may spread to other children as a result of my cowardly and selfish submission to the passive doctrine of silence treatment? If we develop the habit of submitting to the doctrine of silent treatment, we only empower evil and when evil is empowered, it festers and when it festers, it become a big untamable octopus to whom all of us become cheap preys.

According to Franz Fanon “Every onlooker is either a coward or traitor.”  Permit me to share copiously, the deep philosophy of one of the greatest human being living, who when he was being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 was called a “messenger to mankind.” Elie Wiesel submits against the doctrine of silent treatment: “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”  He further states, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” He concludes, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Permit me to conclude this sobering piece with the instructive words of  Martin Niemöller, when most of the German elites would not challenge the madness of Hitler, which later led to a pogrom, to which close to 70 million people were slaughtered, representing 2.5 percent of the population of the entire world at that time. Niemöller submitted, “First they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist/ Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist/ Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew/ Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

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

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

 

Advertisements

I Think MORE…

I think more of my Father than I think myself…
I think more of my Source than I think of my substance…
I think more of my destination than I think of my past…
I think more of my departure than I think of my birth…
I think more eternity than I think of the present…
I think more of the present than I think of the future…
I think more of the future than I think of the present…
I think more of contribution than I think of entitlement…
I think more of making a life than I think of making a living…
I think more of the reason why I was apprehended than I think of life…
I think more of the Way than I think of routes…
I think more of the Truth than I think of facts…
I think more of the Life than I think of living…
I think more of my strength than I think of my weakness…
I think more of greatness than I think of success…
I think more of crusading than I think of judging…
I think more of friends than I think of enemies….
I think more of my family than I think of nations…
What do you think MORE?
Do have an INSPIRED week
Taiwo Akinlami Sober on his knees on the LORD’s day.

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…

Child Protection, the Doctrine of Silent Treatment and the Untold Evil Thereof (3)

I say happy New Year dear readers to you dear reader. I am persuaded it is a glorious year for us and our dear children.

The third scenario is very close to the last one. This is where the leader of or management of an organization, which claim to be responsible for the welfare of children are aware that abuse is being perpetrated against the children, who are under their care and in an attempt to protect their organization covers it up. This happens in institutional homes and institution of learning.

The number one disposition of many organizations, who claim to work with children, is self preservation and not child preservation. When they are confronted with a report of abuse, their first disposition is to deny same.  They price the continued existence of their institution over the welfare of the child.  The organization, I lead has a Child Protection Policy and it is one of our cardinal provisions is that if a case of child abuse is perpetrated by anyone within our organization, no matter highly placed, we will never cover it up. We will expose same in the best interest of the child, even if it will amount to our organization being brought down.

Another variation of this scenario is that a teacher or non-academic staff or a caregiver abuses a child and he’s found wanting by the police or the court of law. He/she is sacked. The school or institutional home does not take the case beyond that. They would not do a disclaimer in the newspaper or send his details to other schools or homes.  They leave him roaming and roaring, looking for whom to devour.  The attitude of the school owner or leadership may be different, if an accountant of the school embezzles the school funds. They may proceed to the newspaper to do a disclaimer.

A six year old girl is sexually molested by her twenty four year old teacher. The child reports to the father and she is taken to the hospital and she is confirmed molested. The father reports the matter to the school owner. The school owner denies the matter stoutly in the face of medical report. She would not even make an effort to ask the teacher. Her interest is to defend her school. She reaches out to the police in an attempt to compromise them. The father of the girl would not relent. Finally the police arrest the suspect and he is charged to court and granted bail. The school is shut down. Few weeks later, the suspect is in another school employed as a teacher.

The fourth scenario of the doctrine of silent treatment is that your friends, colleagues or client, are innocently and ignorantly about to make or are making terrible mistakes in raising their children and you know better and you just keep quiet. You explain it to yourself that you do not want to interfere in their private matter. You are not able to draw the line between interference and advice. You forget that the Holy Writ says, ‘faithful are the wounds of a friend.’ You are not also aware of the admonition of the Holy Writ that ‘open rebuke is better than love concealed.’ You do not understand that what you owe them is a piece of advice and not a decision. You simply keep quiet and allow the mistake, which constitute an abuse to the child and his/her destiny to continue.

Well, they may never find out and that will hurt and haunt the destiny of the child forever except there is divine intervention. If they discover their mistake and finds out you have always known better, how do you think they will perceive you and everything you claim to share?

The matter is worse if the one who has submitted to the doctrine of silent treatment is a professional, whom the client is depending on to give credible and professional advice. It is not only a slap on professional integrity. It is a betrayal of trust, first to the child and the institution. It is my firm belief that my client does not need to like what I have to say, it must be the truth of the situation from the professional angle and declared to her with wisdom and in good conscience.

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

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