Stolen Innocence

October 5, 2016

Pedophilia – a word that sends shivers, disgust, and utter horror to anyone who hears the work spoken out loud. This week in Kenya, we had news coverage of an 8 year old girl who has been defiled, and the defiler subsequently, posted the heinous act on his Face Book page, complete with the pictures of the poor girl in the forest. He robbed her of her innocence, her childhood, and left her with unimaginable trauma. She has been left vulnerable in a harsh world. Sexual abuse is the worst form of violence against children and women.

A lot of evil in the world happens not only because there are many evil people. but also, because so many good people do nothing . In his particular event, however, people on social media immediately raised their voices against the heinous act, refusing to back off until something was done. It was their outrage that caused the police to act. The police hunted down the rapist, arrested him, and he now faces the courts. With that, he will most likely be jailed for life for this atrocious act.  We can only pray the girl has the right social support and counselling to get her through the trauma she has been forced to endure.

Here in Kenya, when rape occurs, the perpetrator will get a jail term. The victim will get medical attention and counseling for a period of time, but after that they are released back to their families.  No one follows up to see how the victims are faring, and it’s not strange to hear of a victim committing suicide. In this case, the girl, whose face was exposed for all to see on social media, will have to endure ridicule from her peers. Some will blame her for following the man to the forest; some will think she’s no good. For the rest of her life, this stigma will follow her. She will have to suffer in silence.

It is, therefore, our responsibility to stop evil at every opportunity whether doing so, causes us persecution from family members, friends, or anyone else inclined to participate in or turn a blind eye to these atrocious acts. In this instant, since people came out strongly against the crime committed against the child, the government was quick to respond and arrest the perpetrator. We must look out for our children and the vulnerable members of our community. Behaviors like anger or rage, crying, nervousness, fear or panic, withdrawal, fear of a certain family member, should warn a parent that some sort of abuse may be taking place against the child; unfortunately, most of this abuse is sexual in nature.

Love helps a child to mature and feel accepted; love from the parents, siblings and other responsible adults entrusted with the upbringing of the child makes a child whole.  A child’s emotional needs, which include understanding, support, guidance and love must be met, so that the child can know where to run to or who to talk to when they feel threatened.  We pray for justice for the little girl and all the other girls all over the world who have had their innocence taken at such an early age. May they find love, healing, peace, and compassion from their family and those that care about them.

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