Can you feel it?
(Please imagine this scenario for a moment. THIS IS YOU) You are a 12-year-old girl who has been abused/raped by a relative /father/brother/boyfriend/friend of yours. Your mother is screaming at you. Village people don’t laugh or talk to you. You cannot go to school. You cannot understand anything. Nobody is explaining to you what is going on. But you have to go to the police. From the police they will send you to the courts. At court you know that all you have to do is tell the truth. But you are afraid of the court’s procedures and sometimes you forget what to say. Nobody can help you! After you are finished at court you are sent to a welfare home /orphanage. There are girls who are pregnant. “But why I am here? I didn’t do anything wrong!” The girls at the home are friendly and teach you step by step what to do. You have to wake up early in the morning and work on a schedule. Living with girls who are the same age as you seems fun, but you know that you have not protected yourselves well.
That’s why you are there. You all feel as though you are some kind of convicts. Now it has been 4 months since you arrived at the home. Nobody has come to see you but you’ve thought of them all the time. You remember your younger sister. How will she be okay without you? Your stomach is getting bigger. The girls say you are going to have a baby. A baby?!! What can you do with a baby? You want to go to school like you did before. You want to make kites with your friends. You want to ride your bicycle. You want to dress up your Barbie doll. What is going on? You cannot face this. “When I can go home? What happened to the village people? They know I am a good girl. Why are they so rude? If I go home, am I going to meet the person who did to me? “ You are afraid. “Mom where are you? How can I keep all these things in my heart?“ You want to scream and cry. Just another day, now you are quite used to this home. You help the girls with their babies. You do the “group work” everyday and go to the classes. This home treats you well with nutritious foods, clothes, tutoring…
everything. But you prefer go to your real home. You feel alone. You need your family back. “I just wanted to be a teacher- a dancing teacher. I still have that dream. What do I do?” This can happen to any girl. But her experience depends on where she lives and how understanding her community is. We have to respect different cultures and law, but what would you think if this happened to you? How would you feel? I can feel what the girl feels. I know that if something like this happened to me at that age, I would also be neglected by my family. But if this happened to my daughter I would never let her down. I would never leave her alone. How could I? I really can feel the bad and sad moments of the girl’s experience from the beginning to the end. It is not the fault of the girl; it is the fault of our society. When I go to the homes I see different kinds of emotional problems, which make me want to scream and cry. If you feel it, you really understand it. Please give your comments. Iroshini