My daddy is a sex pest
Posted Saturday, January 19 2013 at 02:00
- It’s a silent epidemic in many homes, a taboo topic and the worst betrayal of trust a young woman can ever suffer. But as Dr Joachim Osur reports, it’s time society stopped protecting men who prey on children
I was invited to one secondary school to give a health talk and after I finished, a form four girl followed me and asked for an appointment. The next day we met in a clinic.
She was tense and appeared to have difficulty in talking out what was in her mind.
“Ok, let me just breath in first,” she said, tears rolling down her young face.
“You see, my father loves me in an unusual way,” she went on, “no, he has not had sex with me but I just fear it will happen soon,” she concluded. The father had been buying her strange gifts, the ones you expect from a boyfriend. He had been visiting her bedroom at strange hours and touching her in strange places.
For once I did not know what to do. Was I to tell her to walk out of the family? If so, walk to where? As she put it, her mother would spank her thoroughly if she told her such ‘nonsense’.
Her father was supposedly too caring to be accused of such things. Nobody would ever believe her, in fact they would accuse her of being spoilt and imagining abominable things.
Involve an older person
We agreed that she would involve a close family member, even if not the mother and that they would come to my office for a discussion on how to handle the situation the next day. If a close relative who could help was not available, she was to talk to a respectable family friend or pastor of their church.
The father needed to know that her daughter was uncomfortable and that such advances are not socially and legally allowed. We needed someone to introduce the topic to him. Another alternative was to have the father come with her to the clinic, although she vigorously shook her head to this.
A few weeks passed, and the whole thing went out of my mind. For some reason I imagined it had been sorted and that the girl was safe wherever she was, given that she did not come back as promised.
Then one fateful Saturday morning I got a call, “Doctor it is me,” came the familiar voice, “and I must see you today.” And so we met at the clinic. The worst had happened. The girl’s mother had travelled upcountry and she remained with her brother and the dad.
They ate supper as usual and went to bed. When it was all quiet in the middle of the night, she heard a knock on her door; it was her father. She was confused and not sure of what to do but went ahead and opened the door.
To her dismay her dad went straight for her, kissing and doing whatever else men do. She was too embarrassed and scared to protest. He raped her repeatedly before going back to his bedroom. He pleaded with her not to tell anybody.
She spent the rest of the night crying. The first thing she did in the morning was to call me. She needed immediate help.
Possible causes of this behaviour
Possibilities include drugs and alcohol intoxication thereby impairing judgment; strained relationships in the family causing the party that feels aggrieved to want to punish others; and personal experience with sexual abuse at an early age which subconsciously makes the victim behave in a similar way later in life.
Whatever the causes may be, their impact is the same: incest leads to emotional turmoil in the victim. It leads to diminished self-esteem and impairs interpersonal relationships in the family.
When it is the parent abusing the child like in this case, the child is left helpless not knowing where to turn. The family is supposed to be the source of protection and love and is supposed to give guidance to the children, not abuse them. Incest is therefore unnatural and inhuman.