Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We have it easy

I follow this blog about a young American volunteering in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Amy helps rape victims through a non-profit organization called COPERMA. Her most recent post is about a visit she did to an orphanage. Some of those children have been adopted by American families, and unfortunately all of them reported being sexually abused. Her description of what she saw there - the way the children were underweight, had  a zombie-like gaze and were like dolls with barely any sign of life - like bodies separated from their souls - made my stomach turn in disgust. I realized how I've had it 'easy' my whole life, in spite of my illness, in spite of my anxiety attacks, my difficult time getting off my medication, my 'demanding parents', my perfectionism... what is it all to compare to what those children have endured in their short existences?

It breaks my heart to think that little beings who are barely starting to become 'persons' have to suffer such violence against their bodies and their emotions. I know it is in Congo, but we know it happens everywhere. It happens here in California. It's happened with children who go to the government daycare units in Brazil. My mother, who has worked in public education in my home country for her whole life told us about it - about how the teachers find out the children are being sexually abused or exposed to inappropriate behavior by their parents/caregivers. Usually, some of the children will try to perform the same actions they've seen/suffered at home to the other children in the day care, mostly during nap time. Then the teachers inform social services, and the social workers have to visit those children's families to investigate what might be happening.

This world seems to be so full of wicked wicked men. How could they hurt a child? And sexually abuse a child? Why does pedophilia even exist? Who was the first human being who decided that engaging in sexual acts with a 3 year-old was something agreeable to start with?

I know I sound like one of those people who are in complete disagreement with the world. These are things I cannot control. They almost do not affect me. I have no children of my own; nobody in my extended family has been sexually abused; none of my friends' children has suffered either. Why do I care so much? Well, perhaps it is because such horrible horrible acts make my very own existence seem too easy. I've had it easy here... I wish I could say more, and yet, all I can do to help right now is to donate to Coperma so that Amy can try to reach out to those children.

Visit Amy's blog.

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