SWITZERLAND, JUNE 24
By Jane Ogeah
Every so often, national dailies and online platforms report the stories of nabbed paedophiles and docked pederasts, but beyond the reportage and documentation, one thing still haunts me.
It is the fear of waking up one day to realise that people have become inured to the predicament such that we see them in the news and flip to the next page or channel with no second thought to the victims or their plight.
The less thorough manner at which the judiciary handles these cases is all too predictable – culprits getting away with only miserly fines to pay – and that makes one wonder what hurts more.
There is also the fact that these innocent children still go on hurting even after their assailants have been put away. This sad reality is even a sadder trend.
While they are being abused, they are hardly able to speak up. Sometimes, they have no recollection of the specific tactics their molesters used to ensure they wouldn’t sing, and these strategies work for years.
Most of them are too young to understand what is happening and what it is called, or that it is criminal and sickening and anything but okay. It’s usually until they are asked point blank if they are being touched or hurt by anyone that they are finally able to reveal the predicament. It is by this fact that the Cece Yara Child Advocacy Centre deemed it fit to put together a film documentary.
The Cece Yara Foundation is a non-profit organisation that seeks to educate children and provide them with skills to protect themselves from sexual abuse and to empower adults to prevent child sexual abuse. For the good work they do, the foundation has received a number of awards and recognitions including the recent one from African Civil Society Organisation and BBC having emerged winner in the Google Impact Challenge.
The documentary film explores the inward struggles of children who are constantly abused by close relatives and friends of the family. Some, torn between the fear of telling their parents and not being believed, or being blamed for what is happening to them, they choose to be tight-lipped and keep suffering in silence.
As the film reveals, there is a constant thug of war going on in the minds of the abused as being sexually abused makes them feel shameful. disgusting. Worthless. Disposable. They tend to be so ashamed of what is being done to them such that they wouldn’t want anyone to know about it. Some of them do not understand that telling someone is what would actually bring the assault to an end.
A victim once said, shame is a boss, it lords over you and tears at your conscience. It is blinding. Deafening. Muting. Especially over the young and defenseless.
The film espouses why children shouldn’t have to feel even a vestige of shame over a crime committed against him/her.
Then, it beams the spotlight on the ignorance that parents wallow in and the lack of self-awareness that they exude even when the crime is happening right under their noses and in most cases the strong need to live in denial.
“I tried alerting my mom, but she could not discern what I was trying to reveal to her as she had taught us that sex is a sacred relationship only to be discussed by adults”
“My parents never suspected that I was going through any of these challenges”
“I was scared that people would say it was my fault”
These were revealed by characters in the film who were victims.
The Official screening of this culturally sensitive piece comes up on the 30th of June and it is targeted at educating and empowering children, parents and wards to be aware and conscious about child sexual abuse so that people can recognise abuse and know how to respond.
The film titled ‘the Cece Yara Stories’ was directed by Bill Bidiaque, produced by James Omokwe and Bill Bidiaque, and Bola Tinubu is the executive producer.
As parents, it behoves you to pay attention and have keen eyes for everything that goes on in the lives of your children. It is not their fault that they can’t speak of their unpleasant situation, but it will be your fault for not being able to pry it out of them. Should they summon the courage and take the risk to talk to you about it, pay attention, be compassionate and believe in them.
We're proud to have wrapped up the production of our Documentary Film on Child Sexual Abuse. The Official Screening takes place on 30th June 2019. Huge thanks to @jamesomokwe and @bidiaque for making a beautiful film. #documentaryfilm #documentary #itsawrap #film #filmscreening pic.twitter.com/5sfckdvqYT— The Cece Yara Foundation (@cece_yara) May 22, 2019