By Ginikachukwu Moses.
Mother to daughter molestation is one of the least addressed forms of molestation in Africa. At least, one out of ten females experienced this while growing up and (was) is haunted by the experience.
Let’s do a little knowledge test here. Did you know that the vagina is found in female humans? It is also located at a secluded area in her body; between the legs! Amazing, yeah? You see, the vagina is a private part in the female body, alongside the breasts and it is meant for the owner. These parts are not to be visited without the owner’s approval. If you didn’t know this before, you are welcome. Wink*
Mother to daughter molestation happens when a mother, without respect to the privacy and discretion of her daughter(particularly the minors), browses through her private parts in ways that she(the mother) shouldn’t.
At least 40% of African women have been molested by their mothers without the perpetrators knowing the implications of what they were doing. I spoke to a lady, who explained her ordeal as an early teenager.
Each time, before bath, her mother would ask her to strip off her clothes and spread her legs. Then, she would insert two of her fingers into her vagina to check if the child’s hymen was intact. Her mother did this out of paranoia, to confirm if she(the daughter) had been letting boys inside of her. However, she violated her daughter who later had to deal with the ripple effects of the violation, all by herself. This is just one of the many examples of mother to daughter molestation, as it occurs in Africa.
Before going in-depth into what mother to daughter molestation is, how about we take a look at some of its causes? Ride with me!
The reasons for these acts are unknown to me, but from my point of view, these acts stem from selfishness, ignorance and an excessive need to protect the child(ren). These mothers who partake and encourage these acts seem to believe that since the child is theirs, they have the right to do whatever they think is best for the child and to the child.
A mother who made sexual mistakes in her youth could be driven by a want or by an obsessive desire to ensure the child(ren) do not tread the same path. She thinks “If I could have made those mistakes, who is this child not to? Children nowadays are not to be trusted.” Hence, mom makes it her duty to cross-examine Sissy with her fingers every morning because; we can’t risk losing the curtain.
Other reasons could be because this child was caught in a compromising position with a male and her mother wants to be sure her daughter didn’t or is not engaging in premarital sex with the dude. Because mother was brought up this way and it seemed to help her maintain her virginity (she stayed away from sex because she feared what her own mother would do if she checked her one day and realised her hymen was broken), she decides to use the same trick. “Sissy must remain a virgin until marriage, as she did,” she’d think.
I have had conversations with several females on sexual harassment, rape and molestation. Recently, I had a conversation with a few female folks on mother to daughter molestation and while some were surprised that this existed, others were confused and asked questions like; “Those acts are qualified to be called molestation?” Or “I wasn’t comfortable with it, but being uncomfortable about it doesn’t make it molestation, does it? I mean she is my mother, doesn’t that count for something?” One said, ” Thankfully it was just her fingers, it could have been worse.”
These mothers would cry out if they heard a male did the same to the child. You could claim the thoughts of both doers are different, but unfortunately, Sissy can’t read minds. The only thing she probably sees is the scowl on her mother’s face and the words she said before the act. Or the charming smile on Uncle T’s lips and the sugar-coated words he told to her earlier. Either way, the child was defiled; hands were dipped in the wrong place.
Another form of mother to daughter molestation is the unnecessary and harsh rubbing or massage of the breasts. according to those who experienced this, their mothers probably believed rubbing, squeezing or gently pounding the breasts of a child experiencing puberty with the head of a broom would make the girl’s breasts fuller, less painful or softer, unlike the normal hardness of growing breasts.
One of the victims of breast rubbing said, “It made me feel very conscious of my body and uncomfortable each time. I developed a strong dislike for my mother and couldn’t look her in the eye.”
Possible Effects of Mother to Daughter Molestation
50% of the ladies I spoke to have had this bathroom experience of molestation. About 30% didn’t even have the luxury of privacy; These examinations occurred in the presence of a male member of the family. You are probably thinking “What is the big deal? They are her family.” This also must have been what was going on in these mothers’ heads. Now, family or not, you as a mother shouldn’t be inserting your finger(s) down there, not to mention in the presence of a third party.
About five ladies disclosed that they had objects inserted into their vaginas to examine if the vagina walls were still taut (it wouldn’t be, if she was sexually active). Another said she was caught by her mother with a guy in a compromising position. The incident was told to her siblings and after the revelation, her mother called her into her room, asked her to spread her legs apart and peered.
These acts are so terrible that if done even once, it bears serious consequences(especially if this child has not come of age and is oblivious to sexual practices). It could leave the child confused and uncomfortable around her mother, which could birth terrible things. If done repeatedly, the child would get familiar to the ritual, and who gets used to the feeling of hands being dipped in them? This act could make the child have a strong dislike for her mother and could awaken sexual desires in this child, regardless of her age.
This child is going to grow up with that memory etched in her heart. The psychological effects of these acts vary, ranging from mild to severe. About eighty percent of the affected ladies that I interviewed were traumatised by it and never got over the experience. According to a lady, the first time it happened, she felt a strange way and couldn’t understand why the action was done nor what it meant. The day after, she dreaded shower and would try to stall for shower, because she feared the action would be repeated. Another, being very emotional and introverted would hide in corners to cry.
Most of these women felt a lingering sensation in their private parts and 50% succumbed to curiosity and began touching themselves. About 70% of these ladies who had experienced repeated “finger experimentation” claim to prefer fingering to actual sex and always want to be touched below, rather than engage in the penetration act.
Ladies like this would probably be labelled ‘harlots, and ‘loose’ by society. Her family members might run around looking for where and how to deliver this lady from this dog spirit she seems to be possessed with. We forget the compound effect. The long line of touching which began with mom’s little examinations, to hers and probably others (whichever came first), led to this mess Sissy is in. Sissy doesn’t want to be touched by every fine dude she sees, but she can’t help it. The moment he smiles at her, her body sends signals all the way down to her core and her mind begins to paint pictures.
Several women are unwilling to have this conversation because it is either too traumatic or because they would rather it remained in the past. Some are unsure if what they experienced could be regarded as molestation.
There is, of course, the fear of your child engaging in premarital sex, especially the female ones. There is, also, the lack of information. But I have always wondered, why take a young child through that torture? Children are meant to be protected and kept safe. No matter how hard a person tries, you can’t control a child. A child who would remain a virgin would and one who wouldn’t, wouldn’t.
There is no need to break a child to prove a point. As a parent, learning to trust one’s self to be a good parent and to instil good virtues in the child is important. But more importantly, one must also trust the child to adhere to the teachings. Defiling or molesting a child shouldn’t be one of the ways to drive home your opinion on chastity.
Engaging these act rids the child of her innocence without even knowing and the most important question I ask; if you discovered your child was no longer a virgin, what then? Would you make another hymen for her? I do not encourage premarital sex, but we need to know our places. There should be a limit to how much we interfere in people’s lives, children or not. Yes, even that two year old child has the right to say “No” and it should be respected.
As a parent, you have to guide and correct your child(ren). But the moment you start violating your child’s body for whatever reason, you are beginning to cross boundaries and you could be charged to court. So please, keep your hands where they belong — to yourself.