As a mom to a daughter, I’m constantly trying to drill into her head to be aware of the things going on around her and if she doesn’t feel safe to let an adult know. Hell, even if she’s with a group of her friends, briefly letting her out of my sight at the park or that pizza token game place makes me hyperventilate. I’ve seen way to many episodes of CSI/Criminal Minds/Law & Order not to be wary of places like that, but to be honest, I was thinking more of the future; the times as she gets older and there’s even less adult supervision. I was thinking of those nuggets of wisdom my mom told me. 1) If you’re home by yourself, don’t answer the door or tell anyone that over the phone. Say moms unavailable instead of she’s not here. 2) If someone tries to grab you scream, “Help me, this is not my mother/father. Call 911.” If at all possible fight back; kick, scream, bite, scratch. (Once I got older) 3)If you set your drink down at a party & walk away, never drink out of it again; you never know if someone has put anything in it. 4) Have your keys ready whenever you’re getting into your car or home. Try to remember to hold your keys so they can be used to defend yourself. Things like that. I know it’s not foolproof, I tell her it’s not foolproof, but it’s as the say Knowledge is power and I want Beana to have the knowledge to take back her power if, God Forbid, something does come up. As a parent you try to move Heaven & Earth to keep your kids safe and just when you think you might be doing an all right job at it, you read something like this:

Four boys ranging from ages 9 to 14 took turns raping an 8-year-old girl behind a shed for more than 10 minutes. Phoenix police say it’s the one of the most horrific cases they’ve seen. According to the Associated Press, the incident sparked further outrage after police said the victim’s parents blamed her for the attack and shaming the family. As if the trauma of being raped and having to live with the scars isn’t enough, her punk-ass father adds insult to injury, literally. “The father told the caseworker and an officer in her presence that he didn’t want her back. He said, ‘Take her, I don’t want her,’ “police Sgt. Andy Hill said. When the father was asked by local reporters what he thought should be done to the boys who raped her daughter, he answered plainly, “Nothing.” Maricopa County Attorney’s Office confirmed Wednesday, the 14-year-old boy, Steven Tuopeh, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault and kidnapping. The assailant appeared in court on July 23 and is currently being held without bond. The other boys who raped the little girl-ages 9, 10 and 13 were charged as juveniles with sexual assault. The 10 and 13-year-olds were also charged with kidnapping. Phoenix investigators said the boys coaxed her into an empty shed with bubblegum offerings on July 16. The boys held the girl down while they took turns raping her, police said. “She was brutally sexually assaulted for a period of about 10 to 15 minutes,” Hill said. Officers responding to a call reporting a girl screaming hysterically found the girl partially undressed and the young punks running from the scene. “This is a deeply disturbing case that has gripped our community,” Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said Thursday. “Our office will seek justice for the young victim in this heartrending situation.” The victim and the pre-pubescent rapists are all refugees from the West African nation of Liberia. Hill believes the family’s African culture is why the girl’s father has disowned her. In some parts of the “Motherland,” woman are faulted for rape and often believed to have enticed the pervert so much, he has to rape her. Ultimately, women who are raped are shunned by their families.” It’s a shame-based culture, so the crime is not as important as protecting the family name and the name of the community,” said Tony Weedor, a Liberian refugee in Littleton, Colorado. “I just feel so sorry for this little girl. Some of these people will not care about the trauma she’s going through – they’re more concerned about the shame she brought on the family.” The little girl, now in Child Protective Services, is going to have a particularly difficult time healing said Paul Penzone of Childhelp, a group who cares for young victims of crimes. “These four boys used what was a ploy to entice her to a place where they could take advantage of her almost like a pack of wolves,” he said. “And what’s so disturbing beyond the initial crime is the fact that a child needs to have somewhere to feel safe, and you would think that would be in a home with her own family,” not in state custody, Penzone said. This poor girl is forever scarred by the sexual assault she suffered and now the trauma of being rejected by her family. Shame on all four of those boys and her father…they should all be bent over several times and plugged and then see how it feels to be “shamed.” Source

My heart shatters knowing this is the world we live in. Where the innocence of an 8 year old child could be brutally taken from her. Where male children ages 9-14 years old use bubblegum to lure, kidnap & sexually assault another child. Where the child’s own parents blame her, turn on her, and abandon her all while giving support to those what violated their baby. I know in African culture brutality against women and girls goes largely unpunished, it’s not seen as a crime but as an act the victim brought upon themselves. Knowing that doesn’t take away wanting to see those responsible punished – severely. Crimes against children should come with the harshest penalty imaginable, but in this case the offenders are children. What do you do? Punish them like the crime deserves or consider they’re children ingrained with the mentality that rape isn’t a big deal? I don’t have any answers; all I know is that each night I’m thankful that she’s made it through another day in a world that can be so horrible.


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