Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Trauma

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.

8 comments:

Haifa AKA Haifa said...

im not that surprised by the parents comment ' my kids not crazy' and also with the shooting i dont think its because people dont care about how the event will impact people psychologically but rather its just a cultural thing psychologist and counselling are still very much stigmatized not just in the east but also in the west where the sterotype that only the insane c psychologist is still very common.

i myself would probably not go and c a psychologist even though im a third year psychology student and im aware that my motives for this are purely cultural/religious.

u have to consider that from a young age we are taught that we should just deal with whatever happens accept it and move on its embedded in our minds( im not sayin thats the best approach to take but rather its reality).

also with regards to the boys family u have to consider the pressure from society. the family may feel they dont want to bring attention and shame to the family etc which of course is unfair for the child who needs help whether its support from his family or professional help to deal with what has happend to him but nevertheless his parents mentality is very common .

Having said that i think that psychologist can help people through difficult life experiences and i would encourage others to go if its going to b effective for them, but it doesnt necessarily always work and isnt always appropriate when u consider the cultural context.

anyway thats just my opinion
love ur blog! :)

Mansur said...

ok, this is absolutely disgusting...what was going on in the mind of that 14yr old as he raped the 9 year old? I am disgusted, and I shall be ending my blog with a story with a similair nature of this post.

Mansur

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

muscati,

you have raised many valid points, which have left me scratching head because we are in very much the same boat in wonderland, where speaking openly about this is very much taboo.

i totally agree with u in all what u have said and would like to congratulate u for speaking about it so openly. what do we expect from a society which encourages same-sex relations and shuns even normal innocent friendships between boys and girls?

i realise your concern when u question what type of world u have brought Al Faisal to. i worry about this myself everyday. i sometimes tell myself and hubby how i dont want to bring children in such a society..sometimes i say it out loudly, to the dismay of our parents who are waiting restlessly for the heir-apparent!

having said this, i think we make better parents because we are more compassionate and have a balanced understanding of the world...yes, even a silly girl can sometimes make rational decisions... the welfare of the child (physical, mental, emotional) should come first.

u draw amazing parallels between how this child's psychological and legal rights have been neglected and how the education ministry's traumatised employees have been left to lick their wounds on their own after the shooting incident.

haifa sums it up saying that even she, a third year psychology student, would not visit a shrink for a consultation!

thank god i didnt have to study psychology! I would be jobless in this part of the world.. or would I?

the problem here is that EVERYTHING happens behind closed doors. And then all the dirt is brushed under the carpet, where no one will see and the victims suffer in silence..shame, shame, shame!

Ashlee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Najah said...

It is sad, very very sad more then it is disgusting. Poor them those two kids, we hear lots of these stories but most of the time the rapist is much older than 14. He is a victim as much as the other boy is, too early for all those things in him.

I agree with all the above about counseling and our dead society but the thing that I don’t understand is why do we all acknowledge such things and many other things yet nothing is being done or nothing is changing to better. Why are we all just talking without reacting or am I unaware of the fact that people who acknowledge these things are to be minorities in our cultures?

Aaah this is just sad…

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