Today was a hard day at work…I love social work, really I do but on days like today the pain of the work is real. The world’s problems are real, social problems are real, individual problems are real!!!At times the reality is painful to register, painful to comprehend and painful to deal with. Rape for example is the worst case scenario; rape of a minor, rape of a mentally challenged child, rape of any child!! Rape in South Africa has reached crisis proportions and an immediate intervention has become necessary.
Society is sick, society is troubled. What brings the most pain is realising that as much as your role as a social worker means providing for and protecting children in need of care but there is only so much one can do in a society filled with men who do not see anything wrong with locking up a 12 year old and raping her continuously for days. As long as these vulnerable children are out there they are not safe!!!
All one can only do then is to show the child that you believe their story, secondly to reassure that it was not their fault in any way and lastly to give assurance that they are now in a safe place and should not be afraid. This is the point you realise the importance of a trusting relationship with your client. They need to feel safe and that can only happen once they trust you. Only after all this can one begin dealing with the trauma of the rape.
How much trauma can a single human being take? When it becomes almost normal for young children to get raped because this is not the first time it happened and you know it has happened to a couple of your friends below the age of 16? What kind of society is this to raise our children in? The work that a single social worker or a team of social workers becomes a passion filled with pain…the reality of the world is too painful to imagine.
Tomorrow is another day…I have to be strong so that I can give of my strength.