Over the weekend, a girl I know had her mobile devices, laptop and tablet seized by her mother. I have tried frantically to reach her since then, and have found no way to do so. This girl’s mother has a history of using threats and violence to force her children to do what she wants and has actively encouraged the abuse and maltreatment of her children by others as a way to punish them for perceived disobedience. She has even gone as far as blaming her son when he was the victim of sexual assault. Such a woman should not be allowed to have custody of her children as she is clearly an unfit mother, but without proper organizations dedicated to protecting children from abuse in the home, my friend and her siblings have been subjected to the worst kind of treatment.
But yesterday I took action. I called the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team and reported this new event to them, I gave them all the information I knew, as well as the girl’s mother’s phone number. I have kept in touch with them, following up to ensure that they treat this with the seriousness it deserves. My friend’s mother has been invited to come in and see the taskforce and hopefully my friend will gain some protection against her mother.
There are so few legal protections for young people with abusive parents and the Lagos DSVRT is one of few tools we have, we need to get over our conditioning and use it. Otherwise abuse will continue to happen.
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