Last week in another publication a story was carried about a newborn baby found in a drawer. After smelling something foul, relatives went to the bedroom where they made the discovery of the baby’s dead body wrapped up and alerted the police. The report ended by saying that the mother had the mental capacity of a seven-year-old and this was not the first time the individual had become pregnant. Since then nothing more has been heard of the investigation.
We as a people really need to wake up and stop playing dead! When are we going to stop hiding people’s secrets and allow them to face the law courts? What was clear is that this individual had fallen into the hands of unscrupulous characters and nothing was done to protect her. When are we going to protect the vulnerable in our society and stand in solidarity and support them?
Unfortunately there are cases, many unreported, where things of this nature happen on a daily basis in this country and no one utters a word in defence of the person who is taken advantage of. When someone who functions on the level of a child conceives more than once it is not done so in isolation; there are others involved who know and because they refuse to voice their disgust or objection to males who have their way with these individuals, they are just as guilty as the ones who carry out the act.
In many other instances when persons engage in sexual activity with those who are mentally challenged, it is seen as a “good for her” moment or a “you doan tink she want loving too?” event and they laugh and make fun of the individual at their expense and fail to see the crime which they are allowing to take place.
These persons should feel the full weight of the law and be made to pay for their crime. This is truly a crime against humanity and those family members who are fully aware of what is happening should be the first to be prosecuted. Sadly, this is something that is prevalent the world over and even happens in institutions where some of these individuals are housed.
Studies indicate that people with mental and developmental disabilities are four to ten times more likely to have acts of violence committed against them and according to research people with disabilities are at a greater risk for victimisation of sexual assault or sexual abuse because of lack of understanding.
According to Wikipedia, recent studies suggest that 68 per cent of girls with developmental disabilities and 30 per cent of boys with developmental disabilities will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. According to research 15,000 to 19,000 people with developmental disabilities are raped each year in the United States.
They also go on to say that the sexual abuse of people with developmental disabilities is unusually common because of the greater risk of victimisation of such people, and often goes unreported. Most of the time, the perpetrators are authority figures in the victim’s life. The developmentally disabled are more prone to such abuse due to reliance on a caregiver, emotional and social insecurities, and a lack of understanding surrounding the situation.
With the above information, it is amazing that when indeed abuse has been identified that little is done in many cases to fight for justice of the abused. I believe that there is the belief that since the victim probably doesn’t understand all that is happening then the accused should probably be warned not to do it again and that is the end of it. How awful!
When we as human beings operate at this level it shows that our moral compass is broken, our hearts are dangerously hardened, our minds have lost any form of reasoning, and love and compassion are foreign words and concepts. How can we not be affected and impacted by these acts? How can we not be enraged at the violent nature of this crime? What is to stop this act from reoccurring to that same individual or others like her?
All people are saying is how “sad” the whole situation is. That adjective is the last on my list. I’ve found others such as ungodly, criminal, violent, evil, unjust, immoral, reckless, abominable, sinful, reprehensible and unconscionable. Actually I was wrong — “sad” never even made my list.
This case reeks of continued abuse even though no one wants to admit it. We have got to come to a point where we make decisions in the best interest of the victim even if everyone else suffers. The time for sitting down and turning a blind eye to the ills in our society must come to an end and until we take a stand for those who are unable to represent themselves we can count ourselves as being one of those “good” people who stood by, watched and did nothing. May God help us all!