Domestic Sexual Abuse in Jordan

 

I’ve been talking to a friend yesterday about this particular subject, and I just realized that it’s way too complicated and sensitive issue that I thought. I suppose that all agree that domestic sexual harassment, or whatever it is called, is the most hideous form of sexual harassment ever. And when I say “domestic”, I mean the one coming from relatives (i.e, uncles, cousins, brothers, fathers, etc).

 

I used to think that these things hardly exist in Jordan, given our Arabic and Islamic values. Sadly, those values seem to be entirely brushed aside, by less than senseless, sick and depraved people.  I was told that this subject coming from a girl has bad implications. Well, to hell with implications, I know that I am at the farthest point from those issues, thank God. It’s a sensitive subject I know, and it’s hard to bring it on the table But, I’m telling you, this attitude won’t get us anywhere. If you are not suffering from this, that doesn’t mean you have to detach yourself and neglect what’s behind the scenes. Especially that, ironically, those who are being sexually abused are the last ones who are wiling t speak, and they are justified in that, someone’s gotta do it for them.

 

 

As awkward as it may seem, I think there’s no way to get to the bottom of this problem except by bringing it to the light. And once the cat is out of the bag, it becomes hard to bring it back in. But, it’s not so easy in practice as it may seem in theory. The first thing you have to bear in mind is, if you want get the testimony of a girl or a boy who had been sexually abused by a relative, that means you are undermining a whole household, and not everyone is ready to do that, not to mention the repercussions on the victim, given our traditional social system. An-other thing is the social consequences, meaning that going public with such an issue might cause a wave of panic and distrust among people from different families.

 

Well, this is one issue, and leaving a kid to suffer what could later ruin their lives and other people’s lives as well is another. So, what do we do? First, if you still have doubts about the existence of such cases in Jordan, let me quote some of the stories I heard myself from people who were sexually abused in their childhood…

 

One of them, a girl in his early twenties, we were talking about general subjects which led to her releasing a long-held secret. She said she never told anyone about it, and seemed so uneasy after talking about it. She said she was home alone with a relative she highly admires. She wouldn’t give me a name despite my pressing her to do so. She said that she was just a kid; nonetheless, she knew something was wrong. Till this day, she can’ believe it happened. She even went back to doubt it happened, supposing that it was nothing more than an innocent physical gesture.

 

The other story is about a teenage girl, I don’t know if I’m going to say this, but it’s just too disgusting and abnormal to talk about. Maybe later…

 

Anyways, what do you think of a girl who is being abused continuously by a very close relative, then she just choke it up, and let him control her life! How could he convince her that he cares for her safety if he is the one who is violating her in the first place. How will she ever trust men is she couldn’t trust those who are closest to her?

 

“It’s not as bad as you might think” One victim said. Well, I think it is as bad as I think, actually it is worse than what any mortal mind is capable of gathering in a whole lifetime, and I think she thinks that too. But, why would she convince herself that it is not that bad? Apparently, trying to live with it…

 

I think I have to gather more of my mind, so I’ll just use a common way-out… End of part 1

 

Orginally posted on Wednesday, September 06, 2006 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2006/9/91275.html

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