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Category Archives: Attitude to Abuse

Abuse and Domestic Violence


Did you know that incest is the most common form of child abuse in the Maldives?

Contrary to the dominant view that a pedophile is a stranger lurking among the crowd to hunt a child for sexual gratification, most pedophiles live with the children. And victims include girls and boys. Pedophiles are either related to the child by blood or marriage. Most of them are their own fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, grandfathers and sometimes even mothers and female relatives, though their numbers are rather small.

More children are harmed by the very people who are entrusted to protect them. Sadly, incest hardly gets reported. Those that are reported are just the tip of the iceberg. The denial and attempts by family members to protect the family honor enable the abuse to continue and entangles the child in a vicious cycle of trauma, guilt and manipulation. It’s easier for a well-wisher or a parent / guardian to report abuse committed by the non-related person.

Incest is further compounded by the powerlessness of women in the family. A woman’s financial dependency on her father or husband makes it the commonest factor that prevents her from asserting her responsibilities towards protecting her child. More often than not, she herself is a victim of violence by her own husband or legal guardian. She needs help before she can help her children.
Abuse and domestic violence should be understood in the context of power in the family. However, we seldom think about this. The more egalitarian a family is, the lesser is the likelihood of victimization in the family. Therefore, empowerment of women and children cannot be stressed enough to create healthy families.

contributed by “maasin”.
 
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Posted by on August 26, 2007 in Attitude to Abuse

 

Are we a racial society?


A second Bangladeshi man has been found chained to a tree in a house in Male’ today. Haveeru reported that this is the second Bangladeshi man to be found in such condition within a matter of days. The first was reported to have been mentally unstable. The police have refused to give further details as the investigation is pending. It is reported that this has been done by the employer. One person has been detained for questioning.

Unfortunately for the Bangladeshis concerned in these inhuman acts committed against them in such a dramatic fashion, they have lacked the kind of attention and public outcry that would have been seen in any civilized society. The reason being that the brutal murder of a foreigner from the same country has been later attributed in very extraordinary circumstances to his countryman, housemate and alleged “homosexual” partner. Bangladeshi workers are looked down upon in the Maldives, though the President’s son-in-law happens to be of Bangladeshi origin.

We have usually attributed all evils in our society to foreign influences and foreigners. There is little research to prove the case. However, politicians and community leaders seem to have a liking to shift blame for their inaction and proactive engagement in building a nation to the foreign labor force which has contributed so much for the development of this country.

We are a people who have lived in denial for a large part of our existence. I have been told by a well informed source that the majority of child sex abuse cases in the country will in fact fall under incest. And that is when one in every six women have experienced some form of sexual abuse by the age of fifteen.

So, our attitude to abuse in general can only be imagined!
Related links: Haveeru

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2007 in Attitude to Abuse

 

Hilath continues to keep vigil


Hilath Rasheed of Haveeru continues to advocate for the issues of sexually abused children in the Maldives, with yet another article in the paper, this time in Divehi. Some critical points from his article are listed below:

  1. A child was considered to have consented to sex (rape) at the age of twelve, by the Court.
  2. So-called consensual sex with a minor is actually “statutory rape”.
  3. Social stigmas compel child sex abuse to be shelved as “family secrets” and therefore, are not often reported, according to former Minister of Women’s Affairs.
  4. One in every six women have experienced sexual abuse before the age of fifteen. Statistics on sexual abuse of boys are not available.
  5. Victims of sexual abuse are married off to pedophiles, in Maldives, under pretense as a measure for “the protection of the child”.
  6. Pedophiles have been pardoned and continue to be pardoned under presidential amnesties.
  7. Gender Ministry is now trying to contain the outbreak of disgust, despite being the one initially to expose the extent of child sexual abuse in the country.

What can we do as concerned citizens? How can we support Hilath in his efforts to bring the case of child sexual abuse out of the closet?

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2007 in Attitude to Abuse

 
 
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