Saturday, July 11, 2015
Stop raping our children!
I am really sick and tired of newspaper headlines that announce that yet another young Swazi child has been raped, infected with HIV and/or pregnant. What is wrong with these men?
We currently have 15 babies who were born to mothers who were raped between the ages of 12 and 15. We have another 15 babies who were found in pit latrines, wrapped in garbage bags or dumped in a river and we will never know how old those mothers were, but I can guess that they were all very young, very afraid and very ashamed. Many other babies came from victims of rape, but over the age of 16-years.
It’s happening all over the country and in many cases is being hidden from the police and Social Welfare so the criminals can continue the terror that they put on young girls who can’t speak out for fear of being killed. In so many African countries (not just Swaziland) a girl’s body is not her own, it belongs to her father, grandfather, uncles, cousins and brothers. What kind of a man takes joy in having sex with his own daughter, granddaughter, sister or niece?
In Swaziland it’s hidden under something called “tibitenhlu”, which is a common expression here used to mean “keep it hidden and in the house/family”. In English we might say “sweep it under the rug or keeping things hidden behind closed doors”, but tibitenhlu has a more sinister meaning of hiding things within the family.
This past week I have been directly involved in a case of a 15-year old girl who was raped by her uncle for 4 years (and infected with HIV) and then for another year by another uncle and impregnated. The second case is one of a 12-year old who was raped by a family member and is now pregnant at the age of 13.
I am sick of it.
This will be a short rant, but rapists be warned. I believe that Swazi's will rise up and start reporting you to the police and you will be imprisoned. You can also be assured that there is a special place in hell for you.
Phansi Ngetibitenhlu bika kudlwengulwa kwebantfwana!
(Stop hiding secrets and report child rape!)
Live from Swaziland …