Where is our Safe Haven? Guest post by Chinwe Obi
I wept as I listened to Chaz B’s Sharing Life Issues on Inspiration FM and the topic of discussion was “Incest”. I still shudder with goose bumps on my arms as I write this article. This is the kind of things that we read in the papers as they only happen in the western world “or maybe it used to happen here and people don’t speak much about it”. We are definitely not used to hearing of cousins, uncles, e.t.c sexually abusing the younger wards that they are responsible for protecting.
I remember growing up as a child in my family home; I felt so much peace, comfort and love from my parents, this is exactly how every child should feel, your home should be a safe haven for you, but the topic of discussion on the Chaz B show has shattered that belief for me.
Now we have fathers abusing their own daughters to the extent of sending them to an early grave. As I listened to this confessions on the radio, I kept staring at my little nieces and I wept uncontrollably as to who would want to hurt such angelic, beautiful and innocent creatures. How could a father's mind be so twisted that he would go as far as destroying the very thing he is supposed to be protecting?
I tremble just thinking about this because I can’t even imagine the excruciating pains these very tender children must constantly live with. I know I had a very sheltered upbringing; I grew up seeing my father as a pillar of strength and protection that each time he had to go on a business trip, I hardly slept at night because I used to be scared that something may happen at night in his absence, but when he came back I felt very safe and secure again. My home was my safe haven and it still happens till this day even though I am in my thirties.
So I think to myself, children of the 21st century should have a right to sheltered lives as well, their homes should be their safe haven and their fathers should be the protector, defender and the mini god that they see. But all these have changed due to the wickedness in the heart of men and the twisted mind that these men have, because now you don’t struggle to protect your children from abuse by uncles, cousins, house helps and the likes but you now protect them from their own fathers, how twisted can this be? If these little girls have been constantly abused by their own fathers, what is next for them, what kind of life are they expected to live? Who do they turn to for love and protection, who will fight for them, who will soothe their souls, who will mend their broken hearts, what kind of women will they become in future if they survive this abuse???? All these and many more questions are going riot in my head as I write.
My biggest question is what will make a father commit such disdainful act with his own daughter, what pleasure does he intend to derive from the act? We discussed this in my office and most people think it is for the purpose of ritual for either wealth or political influence while others think it is simply because the man is sick in the head and should be confined in a mental clinic. Which ever school of thought we decide to go with, the truth still remains that something is terribly wrong somewhere.
If a child doesn’t feel safe and protected at home where does she turn to? If her father cannot protect her, who will? What becomes of the mothers/wives in this situation also what becomes of those that may in future be in this situation? Should they be overly protective of their daughters and cautious/suspicious of their husband’s relationship to their own daughters?
I know we're in the month of love and this is a very heavy and serious topic. But it is a reminder to reach out to those around us, not necessarily friends or lovers, and share some love.
Have a good weekend, all.