WARNING: Graphic Images
The following is excerpted from an article by Lynn Monahan titled “Fighting Gender-Based Violence” in the June 2020 edition of Maryknoll Magazine:
“When she was only 8 years old, Ghati was sold by her older brother to a 55-year-old man, who put the orphan girl on a motorcycle and rode to his house… There the man raped her.
After two weeks of daily assaults, Ghati escaped while the man was working in his fields…The man was later arrested and eventually sentenced to prison.
Ghati, a pseudonym to protect her identity, was…placed in a shelter [in Tanzania] under the care of the Immaculate Heart Sisters of Africa.
‘What the center does is support vulnerable children,’ says Sister Annunciata Chacha, the director of the shelter called Jipe Moyo, a Swahili term meaning To Give Heart.
Jipe Moyo, a program of the Musoma Diocese, cares for children who have been living on the street, children who run away from domestic violence, children who flee from female genital mutilation (FGM)…sometimes called female circumcision, and girls escaping from child marriages…At the center, the children receive care, counseling and education…”
“Jipe Moyo shelters 70 minors, most of whom are girls, some as young as 2 years old, who’ve been orphaned or abandoned. One 5-year-old girl was found sleeping on a garbage dump after being kicked out of her house by her stepmother. More than a dozen boys at the center were rescued from the streets. Jipe Moyo also support more than 50 children at area boarding schools. A few have gone on to college…”
Tragically, gender-based violence (directed primarily against women) occurs across the globe.
- The World Health Organization estimates that 3 million girls annually face genital mutilation in 30 different countries .
- In the US, underage marriage remains an issue. In 2017, PBS Frontline reported, on the basis of state marriage records from 2000-2015, that children as young as 12 or 13 had been allowed to marry in the US .
These children still await rescue, and someone to give them heart.
 World Health Organization, “Prevalence of female genital mutilation”, .https://www.who.int/teams/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-research/key-areas-of-work/female-genital-mutilation/prevalence-of-female-genital-mutilation
 PBS, Frontline, “Child Marriage in America”, 9/14/17, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/podcast/dispatch/child-marriage-in-america/.
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