英语 英语 日语 日语 韩语 韩语 法语 法语 德语 德语 西班牙语 西班牙语 意大利语 意大利语 阿拉伯语 阿拉伯语 葡萄牙语 葡萄牙语 越南语 越南语 俄语 俄语 芬兰语 芬兰语 泰语 泰语 泰语 丹麦语 泰语 对外汉语


时间:2018-03-03 18:19来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

Nigerian Families Demand Justice in Child Abuse Cases

Activists1 in Nigeria are seeking stronger laws to punish those found guilty of sexually abusing children. Their appeals come as some families break the culture of silence surrounding the issue and demanding justice for the victims.

Mercy Philip will never forget January 12, 2017. That day her eight-year-old daughter came to her and asked if she could wash her underwear.

After Philip asked why, the girl said a male neighbor had "climbed on her body" and then told her to wash the underwear.

The mother immediately took her daughter to a health center. A short time later, Philip and her husband went to the police. The neighbor was arrested and is now waiting to be tried.

However, the family’s life has only become more complex.

They have been criticized by other neighbors, pressured to drop the charges, and condemned2 for "trying to ruin a man's life," Philip said. When her daughter leaves home, people laugh or throw rocks at her, she added.

Complex social humiliation3

The disrespect and social stigma4 tied to sexual abuse stops most families in Nigeria from seeking justice. Sexual abuse cases are usually settled with payments, often quietly negotiated by religious leaders.

"To settle means to forget about it. Let sleeping dogs lie," said Bukola Ajao, the Philips' lawyer. "Please, we are sorry, but this kind of matter is not something that you just apologize for."

The most recent records available on child sex abuse in Nigeria are from 2014. They come from Nigeria's National Population Commission, the United Nations Children's Fund and America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those studies showed that one in four girls and one in 10 boys in Nigeria experience some kind of sexual violence before the age of 18.

The Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital at Kaduna State University answers requests for evidence of suspected child sex abuse.

Doctor Musa Shuaibu, a specialist on children’s health issues, said the hospital treats many youngsters.

"Nearly on a daily basis, there would be one form of abuse or the other,” she noted5. She added that it is worrying because not many cases actually get reported to a hospital.

Activists seek new law

Activists are urging Kaduna state to approve the federal Child Rights Act of 2003. It requires a 14-year jail sentence for anyone found guilty of child sex abuse, and life in prison for rape6.

Kaduna and 10 other states in Northern Nigeria have yet to approve the act. Instead, those states use religious Islamic courts as well as a system of rules from British colonial rule to try those accused of child sex abuse.

Hajia Hafsatu Mohammed Baba is Kaduna’s State Minister of Women and Social Development. She told VOA the state government wants to pass the act. But the Supreme7 Sharia Council says the federal rule is a Western import and an attempt to restrict religious courts.

This often leaves families with difficult choices.

"You know how things are around here. Things like this can never be buried," said Asabe Musa, whose daughter was abused when she was five years old. "This is the kind of story that goes around…maybe when the girl does find someone to marry, someone will go and tell his family what happened to her."

Few cases come to court

Hauwa Hassan owns and operates an orphanage8, which cares for children who have lost both parents. For the past 10 years, Hassan has worked with about 20 families dealing9 with child sex abuse. She says only three of them took her advice to go to court, and those families are still waiting for a final ruling.

One young woman living at the orphanage, named Ladi, left her home after her father raped10 her daughter.

"My daughter was covered in blood. I picked her up and just stood there. He was someone I had always respected, so I didn't say anything to him. I picked her up and went to town with her in the morning."

Ladi cannot return to her village because her father is a chief there. But she is not alone.

One 7-year-old at the orphanage said he was walking to school when an old fruit seller persuaded him to go to the back of his business. The abuse continued until the boy told an uncle about pains in his body.

The uncle, Anas Abdullahi Umar, said he went to the police. He said a lot of his friends first suggested they go beat up the accused abuser. But he did not want to take the law into his own hands. Others told him to forget about the case, but he refused that idea.

The court found the fruit seller guilty under a colonial-era sodomy law. He was unable to pay the 80,000 naira fine (about $200), so he is serving a three-year jail sentence.

"That is what he deserved…The judgment11 passed was not enough but still, I thank God there was some sort of judgment," Umar said.

I’m Phil Dierking.

Words in This Story

ridicule12 - v. the act of making fun of someone or something in a cruel or harsh way ?

sodomy - n. anal sex with someone?

stigma - n. a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something


1 activists 90fd83cc3f53a40df93866d9c91bcca4     
n.(政治活动的)积极分子,活动家( activist的名词复数 )
  • His research work was attacked by animal rights activists . 他的研究受到了动物权益维护者的抨击。
  • Party activists with lower middle class pedigrees are numerous. 党的激进分子中有很多出身于中产阶级下层。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 condemned condemned     
adj. 被责难的, 被宣告有罪的 动词condemn的过去式和过去分词
  • He condemned the hypocrisy of those politicians who do one thing and say another. 他谴责了那些说一套做一套的政客的虚伪。
  • The policy has been condemned as a regressive step. 这项政策被认为是一种倒退而受到谴责。
3 humiliation Jd3zW     
  • He suffered the humiliation of being forced to ask for his cards.他蒙受了被迫要求辞职的羞辱。
  • He will wish to revenge his humiliation in last Season's Final.他会为在上个季度的决赛中所受的耻辱而报复的。
4 stigma WG2z4     
  • Being an unmarried mother used to carry a social stigma.做未婚母亲在社会上曾是不光彩的事。
  • The stigma of losing weighed heavily on the team.失败的耻辱让整个队伍压力沉重。
5 noted 5n4zXc     
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
6 rape PAQzh     
  • The rape of the countryside had a profound ravage on them.对乡村的掠夺给他们造成严重创伤。
  • He was brought to court and charged with rape.他被带到法庭并被指控犯有强奸罪。
7 supreme PHqzc     
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
8 orphanage jJwxf     
  • They dispensed new clothes to the children in the orphanage.他们把新衣服发给孤儿院的小孩们。
  • They gave the proceeds of the sale to the orphanage.他们把销售的收入给了这家孤儿院。
9 dealing NvjzWP     
  • This store has an excellent reputation for fair dealing.该商店因买卖公道而享有极高的声誉。
  • His fair dealing earned our confidence.他的诚实的行为获得我们的信任。
10 raped 7a6e3e7dd30eb1e3b61716af0e54d4a2     
v.以暴力夺取,强夺( rape的过去式和过去分词 );强奸
  • A young woman was brutally raped in her own home. 一名年轻女子在自己家中惨遭强暴。 来自辞典例句
  • We got stick together, or we will be having our women raped. 我们得团结一致,不然我们的妻女就会遭到蹂躏。 来自辞典例句
11 judgment e3xxC     
  • The chairman flatters himself on his judgment of people.主席自认为他审视人比别人高明。
  • He's a man of excellent judgment.他眼力过人。
12 ridicule fCwzv     
  • You mustn't ridicule unfortunate people.你不该嘲笑不幸的人。
  • Silly mistakes and queer clothes often arouse ridicule.荒谬的错误和古怪的服装常会引起人们的讪笑。
TAG标签:   VOA慢速英语
最新评论 查看所有评论
发表评论 查看所有评论