The afore-stated line brings to light obnoxious obscene acts going on in most Nigerian homes recently.
In Nigeria, any family that can afford three meals daily can equally afford Househelp. This piece is not writing to condemn the role of Househelps in most homes, but writes to condemn the ongoing obscene scenes that happen in most homes with Househelps where the Housemaids are always the victims.
Not too long ago, there came an awareness on the number of births in households in Nigeria. Sequel to that, Nigerian parents hatch children depending on a very uncertain meager resources. The culture of birthing as much as you can was the stronghold of our ancestors who believed in ‘Igwebuike’. It was also an assurance for wealth and riches.
This culture went on not until of late. Few people now have embraced birth as you can train other than ‘God go train dem.’
Even up till now, most people do not care about the rising number of populations and decreasing resources. This culture instigated the giving out of children to supposed average families.
At least the burden of feeding that one child, clothing and school fees is off. As we usually see, the girl-child is always the one given out, given that girls are better hands when it comes to domestic work. Sometimes, these children are fortunate to acquire education, sometimes they’re unfortunate to get one or are stopped halfway.
Housemaids are always known for their unusual enormous strength for house chores. We’re not even talking about the malicious inhuman maltreatments they get from their host parents…..but the conscienceless sexual abuse they go through on daily basis. There’s this obsequiousness they’re characterized with, which their predators take advantage of.
The boys are not left out as victims of sexual molestation and abuse, but for the purpose of this piece, I will narrow it down to, ‘Housemaids.’
The issue of girl-child sexual molestation and abuse has been a global discourse on many lips for years now. The girls have never stopped being molested sexually or being victims of rape.
According to UN reports on the girl-child in 2015, four out of every five girls have been either sexually molested or raped in Nigeria, and their predators are not unknown hoodlums out there but people within.
For most Housemaids, whether in service or not – always have that story she is afraid to share.
Her fear could stem from being naive. Her fears could be losing her opportunity to be in school, getting beaten, thrown out or even not believing her story. Anything these girls can’t get their minds figured out, is their big fear.
Their predators manipulate them with these fears, compelling them to remain silent at the completion of every round. What we don’t know is that pregnancies result from these concealed abuses which their predators quickly abort.
Sometimes, when those pregnancies fail to abort, wives/mothers find out, these girls were returned and their lives ruined for the inexorable ones. In counter cases, their predators keep feasting on their sexual toys with smelling conscience.
These Predators whose victims are handmaidens under their roofs are not far fetched. They could be neighbours, brothers, sons, grandfathers and in many cases ‘Husbandmen.’ Clerics are not left out on this sinister act.
Predators strategically stage their target victims. While some act too nice towards their target victims with the purpose of winning their trust, some act too mean and hard on the surface to erase any trace of suspect. The former are strategic with subtleness, luring their target victims without coercion, using flashy gifts and manipulative promises. The latter uses force and coercion to subjugate their target victims, manipulating them with their weaknesses(fears). Either way, one common thing is that these girls are not independent of their choices when still under your roof.
Predators always strike in the absence of a third person. Making sure their victims won’t say a word. Their victims in their naive state will agree to keep silent. Some of these victims live on with these sad tales without sharing a word with anyone about it.
These girls grow, knowing how bad they were defiled and abused by their aunt’s husband, brothers, sons.They now know it ought not to be. Some of them speak up while some are still afraid to say a word of it.
Their Predators go on, freely, and looking for the next victim to strike thus the thread goes on.
You don’t know how many voices are silent out there but definitely, you don’t know how many are still living with the fear. You don’t know either how much the experience hampered their mental health. Neither do we know how many, the experience influenced negatively but we all know how close these predators are, they’re within and around us.
In view of the above, we all have a social responsibility to protect the vulnerable naive lads out there.
In different homes in Nigeria, if we’ve not heard, we’ve seen, if we’ve not seen, we’ve experienced the unacceptable obscene act perpetrated on most Nigerian ‘Housemaids’ by the harum-scarum of some husbandmen who unashamedly plunge in their irresponsible ‘longtin’ into their vulnerable victims – people they’re supposed to ‘Father.’
This piece was inspired by ‘Housemaids’ stories.
Through this piece, I wish to lend my voice to others campaigning against Child sexual abuse and molestation.
And to remind the victims of this act, how strong and brave they’re. You’re a fighter and strong woman.
By Phebby Aniche
Human Rights Crusader
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK