NAIJA

OSTRACIZATION: The Aftermath of Boko Haram Rape

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Today’s post is more or less an update on my previous post SHOULD THE GIRLS IMPREGNATED BY BOKO HARAM KEEP THEIR PREGNANCY? Click the link to read the post if you haven’t.

I came across a piece of news where one of the girls who was raped and impregnated by Boko Haram was crying out to the public about being ostracized from her community.

She amongst others in the same predicament are suffering double injustice for choosing not to abort the pregnancy despite numerous persuasion for obvious reasons.

Now they are all being stigmatized by their community and are regarded as “spoiled goods” while their babies are being treated as a very public reminder of a cruel and unfair shame.

Even a particular girl who had a baby for Boko Haram by the name Aisha Musa made a statement on the record saying “I am not enjoying that I have a baby from a Boko Haram man,”. But she is resigned and there are moments of tenderness between her and her young child.

She made the statement above with tears in her eyes as she has been living in the crowded Minawao refugee camp in Borno State for seven months. She survives by selling corn meal at the local market.

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Aisha Musa

What a terrible situation!

While I read her story, as much as I feel a surge of pity for her, I cannot help but wonder if sometime in the near future, this young lady might just transfer all of her aggression on that child of hers.

It is bad enough that the entire community already treats the child as “a very public reminder of a cruel and unfair shame” but my worry is will the mother of the child join that train someday?

To be honest, the chances that she will are very high because given the part of Nigeria she is from, Borno, the fact that she was raped (whether by Boko Haram or not) is already a huge stigma. To couple that with a child and no husband makes it worse and then the child is an offspring of Boko Haram? You have literally just poured petrol on naked flame.

I can imagine how she feels sometimes when she reminisces about her life before she was captured. And how she probably had a suitor who had plans to marry her. Or maybe she wished to go to the university after her secondary school education and make a life for herself.

But all of that is now a thing of the past isn’t it?

My question is “Why does it have to be?”

Why does she have to forfeit her entire life just because she encountered an unfortunate incident called rape. Why does her life have to be over or rather why is the government letting her life be over?

This also goes out to all the other Boko Haram rape victims whose life has crippled because they chose to bring a human being to this world regardless of the means to which the child was conceived.

Now they are forced to fend not only for themselves but also for their new born child with no means of survival whatsoever.

Aisha for example, lives in an overcrowded IDP camp and sells corn meal to survive. When I say overcrowded, whatever image you have in your mind at the moment, triple it then you can start to fathom what goes on in these IDP camps the government have supposedly “set up” for these refugees.

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IDP CAMP IN BORNO

There is never enough food to go round yet more and more babies are being born everyday and many more marriages are being conducted which of course is an express permission to have more babies.

It is very clear that Aisha and the likes of her cannot adequately take care of these children they have bore. It is my opinion that those children be taken to a place or facility where they would at least get a proper meal at the end of the day.

Maybe a motherless babies home or the child be given up for adoption or better yet, relocate mother and child to another IDP camp in a different community where no one knows her story.

Whatever the case may be, leaving those children to grow up in that stigmatizing community without proper nutrition will not only lead to stunted growth but think about the level of emotional abuse and trauma those children would have to endure when their peers clap and dance around them in mockery of being a product of rape and an offspring of “Boko Haram”.

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Ever heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”? So it is not rocket science that since this particular village in question ostracized these children growing up that when they eventually do grow up, they would grow up with a lot of hate and vindictiveness in their heart.

And that to me is the birth of a vicious cycle.

Sadly, I do not know the body responsible for the IDP camps or the Boko Haram rape victims but if there is anyone reading this that does, kindly inform them that those children need to be raised somewhere far away from ostracization so as to enable them grow up in peace as normal children without any stigmatization.

Both mother and child need to be given a chance to live. If not, I regret to say that they have already been “ostracized” by their own country even before their community.

SAY NO TO OSTRACIZATION! Children of rape are still children!

Do you think the government should intervene in the case of the ostracization of the Boko Haram rape victims?

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-OUR

Categories: NAIJA, POSTS, SOCIETY, Uncategorized

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