STOLEN INNOCENCE

One of my favourite lines from a t/v commercial is, “the future ain’t what it used to be…” This commercial, often flighted on South African television captures my sense of viewing as it emphasizes the need for responsible behaviour. Yup, a lot has changed in the past decade-from decaying morals to global warming, to an ever greedy society that glorifies war at the expense of its’ innocent citizens, to a rapid increase in natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes- all wreaking havoc on poor and fragile economies like Myanmar, Mozambique, Haiti, Zimbabwe etc. What is even more disturbing is the fact that women and children who form a large portion of these populations are visibly vulnerable in such economies and fall prey to all sorts of evil. Most of them end up being victims of sexual abuse in their native countries and indeed in foreign countries where a “better” life is promised. Every day, women and children from poor countries whose economies are affected by these disasters and never ending senseless wars are smuggled out of their countries.

It is a crystal clear fact that society has become increasingly ruthless and evil even in a country like South Africa where the economy does not stand on its’ knees. Here, up to 1700 children go missing every year of which about 10 percent are never found. Of those who escape death, there is always harrowing tales of sexual abuse. These women and children live to tell the tale, most of them so traumatized that the road to recovery is hard and painful, a living nightmare. Rape survivors have to relive the ordeal to the police and psychiatrics who ask victims to open up about their ordeals in order to bring the culprits to book.

With the world cup setting camp in South Africa, there is growing fear amongst child and women rights activists that child trafficking may be on the increase. Measures are now being put into place by the South African government to put all stops on human trafficking during the world cup.

Now, if you are a perpetrator of such crimes, just know that you can make a new start in your life…“it’s never too late to change…” And if you wan’t to speak out against such horrific ills, speak out; speak out and be heard! Lend your voice to a good cause and save a child’s life, restore human dignity. You may not have children, but always remember this: There is a child out there whose voice can not be heard…there is a child out there who is sexually abused, whose innocence is lost….

 

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