Sukuma women and children of Tanzania, Author paulshaffner, Source Flickr (CC BY 2.0 Generic)
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…”
Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, sex trafficking, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, Violence Against Women
The Catholic Church sex scandal is well-known. Tragically, it is not isolated.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses
The Jehovah’s Witnesses – considered a cult by mainstream Christian denominations for their failure to recognize the full divinity of Christ – maintain what is believed to be the world’s largest database of undocumented child molesters .
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the non-profit which oversees the more than 8 million Witnesses, has repeatedly refused to comply with Court orders to release that database.
The Watchtower’s Office of Public Information indicates that its policies on child protection comply with the law. Barring a confession, however, no member can be formally accused of committing a sin without two credible witnesses. Of course, sexual abuse is not generally a public event.
When child molestation is uncovered, the Witnesses do not routinely notify police .
Substantial jury verdicts have been handed down against this religious organization.
The Amish and Mennonites
Investigation into sexual abuse among Amish and Mennonite communities has revealed abuse as “an open secret spanning generations” . At least 52 cases have come to light in the past 20 years, across seven states. But that number does not reflect the true scope of the problem.
Victims who report rape and incest may be sent to “mental health” facilities or threatened with excommunication. Continue reading
Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, Community, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Rape, Religion, Sexual Abuse
WARNING: Graphic Images
Climbing Over Grit by Marzeeh Laleh Chini and her daughter Abnoos Mosleh-Shirazi is a ringing indictment of child marriage, in the years leading up to and during the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
A moving story of courage, strength, and love in the face of abuse, Climbing Over Grit is a first-hand account of the early life of Laleh’s mother, Najma.
Neglected by her wealthy but self-absorbed parents, Najma is married at the age of 11 to a man thirteen years her senior who regularly beats and rapes her. Despite horrific abuse, Najma’s spirit is never broken. She forms a close relationship with her mother-in-law and manages to raise four children (becoming a grandmother at the early age of 30).
In the process – and despite her husband’s vehement opposition – Najma resumes her education, attaining a small degree of independence. However, history repeats itself when Najma and her husband arrange a marriage for their daughter, Jaleh, at the age of 15. Continue reading