We have a culture of silence within the African society. We have become accustomed to brushing things under the carpet. Things that when revealed would shock the people we try so hard to impress with our decency. We are so used to pretending that we are decent instead of actually being decent.
We are concealing the ugly truth. Children are being abused by their own fathers and told to keep it a secret. Even when the mother finds out, she protects the ugly secret. Who are we protecting when we conceal the truth? A woman is abused by her husband, she is asked not to wash her dirty laundry in public. Even to call out a cheating husband or partner is frowned upon. These issues are concealed so as to protect the family’s integrity. What integrity?
Stigma is a social construct created by shame and discrimination if you dare to speak out about what should be kept secret. HIV/AIDS became a shameful disease, when one found out they had acquired it, the first thing to do was not tell anyone. For fear of what others in society will say or do if they knew.
Our society judges so many things so we would rather live in a culture of silence. Our culture of silence advantages those who commit atrocities and abominations; it protects their dignity whilst they continue to take away the dignity of others. We do not name and shame our abusers which frees them to continue abusing at will. Our culture of silence normalises violence and abuse of women and children.
I wish I lived in a world were we were free to talk about the indecency in our homes and families, the abuse from intimate partners and all the ugliness we try to conceal. Why should it be kept a secret?