I heard a really disgusting story today. It involves a 9 year old boy who was raped by his 14 year old cousin. The parents of the 14 year old refused to believe that their son would do such a thing, so the father of the victim went and told the police. So far, so disgusting. But then there's a twist.
After lots of begging and pleading between the parents (don't forget, they're siblings), the father of the 9 year old kid who was raped went to the police and dropped charges. And the police accepted and released the rapist!
I asked the person who told me the story if the police had taken the victim to the hospital so he could be checked to confirm if he was raped. I'm told they didn't. And what more, the poor victim has not been offered any kind of counseling. His parents won't take him to a therapist because "their boy's not crazy". God knows what kind of life he's going to live.
I don't know how much of this story is true and how much is exaggerated. I am shocked that even though a crime was committed the police accepted that the father dropped charges and that was sufficient for them to abandon the case as if a crime hadn't been committed. But regardless of the authenticity of the story, I'm still pissed off about it because it woudn't be surprising if it turned out to be true. And worse, quite unfortunately, stories of boys raping other boys are quite common and I have never heard of anyone getting punished for it. Not once. The kids who get raped are made to feel guilty as if it was their fault that it happened to them.
This story reminded me of another issue which I had planned to write about earlier in the month. The lack of counselling in this country is pathetic. On June 26th we had a shooting rampage in the Ministry of Education. A fired teacher went into the office of the department that fired him and shot a bunch of people. It wasn't a random shooting. The guy went from office to office looking for specific people. When he was done he left and drove to second building down the street looking for others who he thought were responsible for his firing. He then escaped, was chased by the police and finally killed himself.
It was five days after my son was born and I couldn't get over thinking what kind of world I had brought him into. My sister works in that same ministry in a different building right across town. She wasn't in any danger. And yet for days after it she was scared and she couldn't stop thinking about it. Imagine how it is for the survivors who were there and saw it all. The shooting, killing.. the blood. All that trauma. Were they offered any counselling? Did anyone care what psychological scars these people are gonna carry from now on? I asked someone who works in the counselling department in SQU. She told me that immediately after the shooting they were called in by the head of their department and asked them if they were willing to volunteer and go meet with the survivors. While some were willing, most apparently wouldn't unless he gives then a formal request. And some even wanted the Ministry of Education to formally request their services.
It's unbelievable how even a counsellor would pass the buck like a seasoned bureaucrat.