Abuse in all its colours

“My son asked me to lift his top, when I did I saw a red mark of an entire hand on his back.” A mother told me yesterday, tears filling her eyes, and I got goosebumps all over me.

“We went back to the private daycare the following day the caregiver said it was not her. After the manager checked the cameras I saw my son being hit, on camera.”

The caregiver was fired. That’s it.

Last week my cousin was telling me about her four-year-old son. As soon as he got into the car back from kindergarten he peed in his pants. This is a child who has been potty trained before his second birthday.

“I am too scared to tell the Miss that I want the toilet, she gets angry.” He tells his mother.

The same child, got his ears pulled. Literally, pinch the ear and pull, by the same kindergarten teacher. Not sure what the reason was, but I don’t even care about the reason.

On the note of ears being pulled, a friend of mine told me about her angel brother who also got his ears pulled last week after the teacher found out he gave his book to a friend.

Over two weeks ago, a teenage girl who was once in a government home instead of her own, posted a photo of her bleeding face on snapchat. Her father had hurt her until blood flowed from the corners of her nose… because she wanted to go back to school?!

On the same topic of snapchat, I got a video sent to me by a friend where a mother hands a cigarette to her child, around three years old, and asks him to smoke as she posts it on snapchat.

If you wish to hear more my instagram friends will be more than happy to give you a handful of stories each. these are just stories that I know of first hand, and have come across in the past few weeks.

As for parents, just ask a school teacher in the outskirts of Erbil about how many kids turn up at school with ‘sonda’ and belt marks on their bodies.

I don’t blame anyone here. I don’t blame parents, nor do I blame the government. I blame our past, our history, our years of oppression, our grandparents’ lack of access to education. These issues are like a tree with deep roots. Roots that are so deep, even if not watered, the tree continues to grow and its fruit keep regrowing season after season. To break it down, to destroy it, to eradicate it, poison must be given to its roots. The roots need to be destroyed and soon the tree will fall and die all on its own. It will take time, but at least we know the fruits of one tree won’t be used as seeds for future ones.

Taking kids from their parents won’t solve the issue. Firing the kindergarten teacher from her job won’t unravel the matter, and taking the father to court and giving him a fine may not teach him a life lesson either.  Even though each of these steps should be made, they don’t provide long term solutions. By doing this you’re just cutting off one branch from the tree, it will regrow after a few seasons.

Our society needs campaigns to raise awareness about child abuse, professionals must be well trained, law must be implemented to deal with every case of abuse, safety homes must be provided (not like the current orphanage which might as well close its doors), and as I have said and I shall repeat till my last breath- the right person must be in the right place.

If a kindergarten teacher is only there because of ‘ta’een’ without an interview or an examination, or a probation period then of course this is the result. If the right person is not put in charge of child abuse in schools, then of course this is the result, if the right person is not put in a place to provide counselling for women who abuse their children, then of course a mum will ask her child to smoke. If the right teacher is not in the right classroom, teaching the right subject that she is passionate about then of course kids will grow to become a curse on society. It is all about having the right people, in the right places to do their job rightly.

In the meantime, abuse in all its shapes, colours and sizes hurt me, in particular when conducted against children. If you don’t care about your child being hit at school, then I do. A traumatic childhood experience, no matter how small, remains in the minds, hearts, and souls of people for an entire lifetime.

What I don’t wish for my child, I don’t wish it for any other child.

Lots of love from

My Nest in Kurdistan



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