Monday, 3 February 2014

Children of the Secret

On Saturday, Woody Allen's adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, wrote for the first time about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. No charges were filed, and the world has (had) forgotten that once, a seven year old girl was violated by her father.

There are too many of us.

We are ill-equipped to deal with the sexual abuse of our children. We don't want to face it. We turn away and hope it never happens in our homes, to our own babies. And in doing that we sometimes send a message to those babies that should it ever happen, we will not know how to handle it. Sometimes our  babies are too scared, ashamed, confused, to say anything. And these babies carry this fear and shame for a lifetime.

There are far too many of us. 

My mum's steward with his porn and his fingers. The man in charge of caring for the rabbits in school. The club owner down the road in Ikeja.

And that's just me.

There are so many of us. Yet our collective silence is deafening. We need to speak up, somehow, for our babies' sakes. And we need to learn to believe our babies, whether or not we were believed. Otherwise this madness will never stop.

"Little girl - little child
Little child is broken open,
By sick, sickening hands
Drawing crop circles on the
Foreshadowing of breasts,
In the unplanted fields of secret hairs -
Harvesting a crop not theirs
Never theirs,
Plundering the bounty 
That is innocent life.

A foul scythe,
Shearing the seeds off our laughter.
A ploughing in the dark of night
A marking of the face
With tears.
Be quiet.
This is a gift.
Take this painful thing; 
It is love.
Do you not yet know how to spell?
Say it like you're told;
That's how you spell love.
Perfect score for learning so quick,
Special child.
Have a gold star 
Seared into your nightmares.

Nobody loves you better.
No one will kill you quicker.
I need you.
Make daddy feel good.
Let uncle make you feel good.
Aunty has a present for you 
For later
Bath time
Bed time
Play time
A life time
Of spelling love wrong.

Help us
Believe us
Protect us
Teach us

PS: Mikki Kendall (@karnythia) has some illuminating thoughts on paedophilia and how it works to silence victims. 

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