When a mother cannot protect her own…

Ties that bind

I had a case yesterday that inspired this article. This case left me wondering what is left in the world
for children when their own mothers fail them. When your own mother who is meant to be your nurturer and protector betrays your trust….

I have questions in my mind after the interview that I had with a mother and her child. The child aged 14 was sexually abused by the mother’s partner three years ago. The case was open against child’s stepfather and was withdrawn, man never went to prison, and justice was not seen for this child whose innocence was stolen at 11 years of age. Why? The answer is really why I am baffled and trying to find answers.

The child’s mother is the reason why the man is not in jail. She has influenced the child to say it did not happen the way it did, influenced the child to lie and say he did not do it. All this to protect a man who is guilty but cannot be exposed because he is the financial pillar of the family.  The mother makes excuses like “he does not want to leave, I cannot force him”. As a mother how do you put your man/lover first above your child? As a mother if you cannot protect your own child from such evils who then can this child trust??  When your own mother manipulates you to say what is not true….When your own mother does not think of your care and protection and would rather turn a blind eye…act like nothing happened…

A child at that age is torn between doing what is right and pleasing her family. No one is considering the emotional turmoil that not only came from the assault on her innocence but also from the family pressure. This teenager then starts to act out and be rebellious and still the mother fails to realize the cause of this.  This teenager would rather find her sense of belonging with peers who in most cases are negative than be forced to face the harsh reality. Then drugs come into play to numb the pain…

It is a sad reality to find that maybe the mother has been a victim of child sexual abuse herself. It becomes a sickening cycle because her own mother did not protect her so she does not know how to protect her own. The anger that is kept inside builds up for years and this current child will grow up with the same bitterness her mother did. How will she be there for her own children? Not because she does not want but because she does not know how to…

So who is to blame? Society? Men who take advantage of children? Mothers who fail to protect their children? As a social worker all that is left to do is to ensure that child protection services are rendered. But how do you change ingrained beliefs and upbringing passed from generation to generation?

I am still wondering…

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