DEAR CHRISTINE: Young girls in den of prostitution
I am a Christian, a nurse educator and I am now studying child psychology part-time at university. The present UNESCO campaign to protect the rights of our children compels me to write you about a serious set of circumstances taking place in my gap.
Recently, a 13-year-old gave birth to a baby in the hospital. She has since turned 14. The baby was the result of promiscuity, incest and rape, which started when this child was ten.
She spent most of her life in an abusive home where she was sexually molested by three adult male relatives, including her stepfather. Her sexual activity continued unchecked by any adult during the years she was in the care of the authorities.
Clearly, the person who got her pregnant committed incest, rape, lewd and lascivious conduct, child molestation and assault. Yet none of these adult male relatives has been reported or prosecuted as they are still roaming the building sites where they work and the streets.
The stepfather also abuses the child’s mother, who has occasionally sought refuge elsewhere but returns for more of the same. It gets worse.
The baby’s mother stated openly before and after the birth that she wanted nothing to do with the infant.
The authorities granted custody of the baby and her juvenile mother to a family friend who lives in very deprived, dire circumstances.
This family friend earns a small wage but cannot meet her rent, as we often hear her and the landlady having strong words about the arrears.
What is upsetting is that there are four females living in the small, wooden two-bedroom house.
Men often sleep over the neighbours are certain, from what the children and their friends are saying at school, that it is a den for prostitution.
The traffic and male visitors say it all. My own daughter repeats astonishing stories told to her by the 11-year-old. Most nights several men visit in various cars and sex noises, children screaming and car doors slamming can be heard as they come and go.
The children, all girls, are 14, 11 and five years approximately.
The 14-year-old mother is often seen engaging in heavy petting.
The 11-year-old has told my daughter about things her mother has taught her, like how to perform oral sex on the men for money.
As neighbours, we are certain all three girls are being schooled into this degrading lifestyle.
I cannot understand how a child with an infant can be handed over to a woman whose history of promiscuity and prostitution is well known.
This woman was forced to consider two terminations during her previous marriage as she got pregnant away from the marital bed.
The relevant authorities should visit the house and see the state of the place in which the infant is being brought up.
The visits should not be planned, but conducted unannounced at any time of the week, especially Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Then they will see the increased activity, hear the screams, witness the shouting and swearing and get a feel for the social depravity taking place in that house.
The mother says she has to do what she has to do and needs to live like anyone else deserves to.
My fear is that our gap will continue to become known for nothing but nasty conduct by this family, the baby will suffer, and the other three girls will grow up accepting that incest, prostitution and sexual abuse by grown men for money and fun is a normal way of life.
What future is there for these three young girls and the baby?
It is hard for some people to accept that situations like this one exist in our society.
The truth is they do and I am aware of similar cases.
In many instances the people involved do not cooperate with the relevant agencies.
I have carried out some investigations and have discovered that this case has been brought to the attention of the police. It is up to them to make any further investigations or arrests.
The Child Care Board is now carrying out further investigations.