I took a pretty long hiatus off the blog to find the time to breathe and create some balance in my life. This summer I got involved with the Obama campaign then got a full time demanding job, full time Grad School program and full time mom. It has been hectic may be an understatement. Thank goodness for Faye who continued writing without complaining. Each time I attempted to write, sleep won the battle. Writing at times can be mentally exhausting, and writing about issues that move you can be emotionally draining.
I have been following the Belize news and issues during my hiatus and even trying to incite discussions to evaluate how people are thinking on some issues. One of the good things about written discussions is no matter how heated it becomes, it gives one the opportunity to go back and read the words and thoughts of others. It allows one to even examine arguments after tempers have cooled.
On a more serious note and the purpose why I have ended my hiatus is to continue discussing the issues facing Belize and dominating the news cycle lately, namely sexual assault. Sexual Assault has become a desensitized public issue. Each victim story is being headlined for a day worth of news, while the victims’ entire lives are permanently ruined. The scary aspect of sexual assault is when it affects our children.
Jasmine ‘s murder is still relatively recent in my mind. To many, her death is already a fading memory. She became a child martyr who symbolized a fed up society ready to exact justice. The outraged public has now returned to their daily lives and anger meters reduced to a mere whimper. All the different groups who were motivated to action have become inactive.
And while Jasmine’s accused killer awaits trial, I can’t help but think – how many predators can a small country of Belize have? Lets examine what is happening in the Jewel that lately seems synonymous with sex crimes.
An 11-year-old child is raped. The doctor certified her rape. The child is found in the presence of the accused. The accused, not a family member of the child, admits to being in the presence of the child. The child tells the court that she is raped by the accused. A jury of mostly women allowed this predator to walk amidst their own children. How could a predator walk away from a case with such seemingly strong definitive evidence?
Another little two year old is dead after her tiny body is violently brutalized and raped, possibly a family member. How could a mother not identify her two year old being raped? Except for Mose Hyde who expressed utter and bitter disgust for what happened to this baby, nothing much else. No candle vigils, speeches, outrage…nothing!
In the midst of it all, a well respected Pastor Willacy, pastor, principal and counselor with daughters himself, admits to a sordid affair with a child he teaches, counsels and pastors to. The prevailing rumor is that this was not his first affair with a student. A well-known secret is what I was told.
During all these assaults on our children an irritating pattern is emerging in Belize as it appears to me. It seems Belize has homegrown quite a few insecure competing women who measure their worth by the men in their lives. Why do I say this you ask? Apart from the women quarreling endlessly over the same man messing with both of them, lets relate it to the victims I have mentioned. Pastor Willacy made an interesting claim to the child. He told the child her own mother was jealous of her youthfulness. Is he on to something? Are older women jealous of these young teenagers, forgetting they are mere children?
I am no psychologist, but I know men enjoy these nonsense competitions, where women will fight and quarrel for a man while he enjoys the company of both women. (I want my sweetheart and my wife to be friends). Women tear each other apart and argue base on what position they play in a man’s life. It is this same stupidity that a predator enjoys. He targets the youthful underage girl with supple breast and young curves and a fit body and that negatively affects the self-esteem of the older, sagging breasts, child barren women. In a “man shortage, man sharing society”, instead of seeing the predator for who he is; a manipulative dangerous predator; many women begin to do what Belize men have culturally taught them to do. Blame the other women, in this case, blame the female child! The man walks away blameless or the forgiveness comes quickly as he makes her feel special, after each consistent indiscretion.
When I listen to women bicker about men, I use to find it comical, now I find it troubling. When I read some of these women statements defending Willacy and blaming his 16-year-old child victim, it was quite disgusting and disturbing. How can any woman, who was once 16-years old ever think any 16 year old can be sophisticated enough to trick a 50 year old plus man?
After children are abused, our society continues the assault by blaming them for being victims. I have been in court with a woman who blamed her own seven year old daughter for the predatory acts her boyfriend unleashed on her own child. She preferred to have a man in her bed that gets up middle of the night to rape her child, than to get rid of him and have him prosecuted. She chastised her daughter for bringing the matter to court. I have never been more disgusted.
I implore the women in Belize to start looking out for our young women. When you see a young teenager girl going astray, instead of labeling her a whore, bitch, sketel, quoting Bible to her etc. Before you dismiss her pain, reach out and find out what pain was inflicted upon her. It may give you some deep insight to the type of predator who may have her life in shambles. What ever happened to the society where we use to look out for each other?
7 thoughts on “Women are we failing our children? by Aria Lightfoot”
When some one searches for his vital thing, so he/she desires to
be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.
This is the first time I’ve seen your blog. In your text you wonder if women from Belize define themselves by their men and the treatment they receive at their hands. I am a US citizen but my wonderful wife is from Belize. While raising her children, she was victimized many times by her spouse. Though I cannot say for certain that it is a Belizian issue, I can tell you that she struggles with her own view of herself because, in my opinion she permitted a man to treat her that way. The issue of women failing their children is a dichotomy. Having read what happened in the trial I could agree with you on that point. But the other side of it is, what is it that makes any woman feel that it is permissible to be mistreated, and deeper still why would a man feel that it is justified or in the least acceptable behavior?
We could point to economics, knowing that jobs are few and far between in Belize, lending to any man’s issues of self-worth being under assault and the anger and emotions of uselessness and invalidation as a provider that is sure to come with it. I went through many surgeries several years ago and was disabled for a very long time. It is agonizing and demeaning to a man to not be able to care for his family as he knows he should and wants to. However, that is not license for abusive behavior. Another issue stems from too many men not staying with one woman and fathering many children, as it is in any country on the planet, leaving children without a proper example of a father and who they are and should be, along with being validated by him and seeing in a father how a woman is supposed to be treated, both boys and girls alike.. Instead, women like my wife are put in a position to be both parents, and over time, if the trend is cross-generational as it is, it becomes the norm.
I cringe when I see the way a lot of children and young people behave demanding “respect” without the slightest clue of what the connotation of the word really consists of. My father was a pastor, and if I had even had some of the looks kids give their mothers and fathers these days, I would have been bounced down the street by my father, especially if I was disrespectful in any way toward my mother.
But when a woman is trying to be a bread-winner and a nurturer, she is undeniably going to be overwhelmed. If you bear in mind that the cycle of fatherless homes has become the norm, it does not seem quite so surprising that a jury of mostly women aquitted the defendent due to classically conditioned trauma reactions over the course of generations. It has been repeated over and over, so after awhile it becomes accepted as normal, and considering the amount of trauma involved over the long term, it has in essence become socially accepted enabling behavior that is common in abuse victims as a matter of survivial.
So the real question is, what then, is at the root of the issue? It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that were we all globally to return to moral and faithful tenets and the relentless pursuit of their virtue and value, the change would be remarkable. But this requires us as adults and parents to be accountable for our children and as a prerequisite, we must be accountable for ourselves, and sadly, we have found every other possible viper to blame for our own lackadaisical attitude is passing on to our children what we know in our hearts to be right. That is not a social problem, a mental health problem, nor a judicial lapse. It is a spiritual problem. We live in a world of anything goes and are content with it until it strikes at our doorstep and forces us into the reality of consequences for our actions or the lack thereof. Yes, I am a Christian, and I am stupified when we as a planet have done whatever necessary to push God out to facilitate our own vices and the easing of a black conscience, how we stand back and wonder why.
I just got here through child sfety for parents. I am sad!
I have two children. A girl aged 7 and a boy aged 5. I live in Nairob, Kenya. Recently I mentioned to friends in the media how worried I was getting about how the media reported Sexual abuse, it got sensationalised much like you describe in the blog. What happened, these molesters started killing their victims so that they couldn’t identify them (because of course about 60% of child abuse cases here are by people the child knows) instead of focusing on what happened to these children after the abuse.
No one realises that these children grow up with a warped view of sex and relationships, that they will be parents, who won’t be able to teach their children any different. And sometimes how damaged they are physicaly that they may not be able to have children of their own even.
I have the private parts conversation with my children regularly, yet sadly I live in a country that does not have a sexual offenders list, where children disappear daily and no one gives a damn, that I live sometimes in gut wrenching fear for my chidren. In a country where reports of sex tourism and forced pornography are rife and common place.
I am inspired by this and by what I have read on Child protection for Parents. Things must change.
I am sad, really sad.
Thank you for your contribution. In Belize we too do not have a sexual offenders list and we have children disappearing regularly. I am happy I am able to reach you and please share and continue reading.
Good article Aria. Glad to have you back. happy to hear you are helping on our President’s campaign!!! Stay strong.
Thank you for writing this Aria. Glad to have you back!
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