Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Victims of Atrocity Not Allowed to Heal

Boko Haram is an Islamic Extremist group that operates mostly in Nigeria, but is also present in Chad, Niger and Northern Cameroon. The group is made up of violent militants fighting in Africa. They have pledged their allegiance to ISIL and have displaced over 2.3 million and killed over 20,000 people. The group was named one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in our world today. The group is known for invading villages, killing the men who refuse to join them and kidnapping women who are "suitable" for "marriage", the age range is variant. These women who have been kidnapped are forced to live and fight with Boko Haram, they are raped and abused daily and have been forced to become suicide bombers in many cases. Recently, many women have been rescued from Boko Haram, some have escaped on their own. What is making news is not simply that these women and some men have been saved, but how they are not being treated. In many, many cases, the women and girls are being shunned in their own communities. Community members do not trust the women's actions and believe that they have spent enough time with Boko Haram to have been influenced by the teachings or even brainwashed. Some girls have given birth to children who are fathered by Boko Haram soldiers (rapists), these women and their children are treated especially poorly because they have been further "influenced" by Boko Haram. Some have argued that the women should be killed, or separated from society due to their exposure to Boko Haram. It is truly a tragedy that these women, who have faced horrors beyond our imagination, are being treated with such disrespect. 

Ashley Clayton

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