Legal Drama

Outrageous! Woman Beats Foster Child to Death for Allegedly Stealing 50Naira #ChildAbuse

This story made my heart bleed. .  .

“The woman (above) was stripped naked and made to carry the corpse of the dead boy (to the left) around her area. The sad incident happened on Sunday on Amosu Street, Ijegun, in Lagos.

The woman known locally as Iya Anu beat her 16 year old foster son, Seubow, to death for allegedly stealing N50. Seybow was Iya Anu’s husband’s nephew.

According to neighbours, trouble started after Seubow lost the N1,000 given to him by Iya Anu to run an errand for her some days back. Angered by the loss which she claimed was theft, the woman refused to feed Seubow for over four days. When the teenager couldn’t take the hunger anymore, he sneaked out to buy gala one night. When Iya Anu found out, she accused him of stealing her N50 and beat him up, using a rod. She battered him for days until he gave the ghost on Sunday afternoon.

After his death, neighbours rounded the woman up and made her carry the boy’s corpse to the police station. . . ” – Linda Ikeji

There are several websites along with Linda Ikeji’s reporting this very tragic story.

Spanking a child, even in Nigerian society, is distinct from beating a child to the point of killing that child. This is a very tragic and outrageous case. It also calls into question Nigeria’s Child Abuse Laws & Its Juvenile Dependency system that helps curtail these kinds of abuses. What are the provisions that are in place to help remove children from such abusive environments?

In May of 2012, The Vanguard had the following to report in a story titled Child abuse: The story of the Nigerian child.

“In 2003, Nigeria adopted the Child Rights Law. It is to domesticate the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Although this law was passed at the federal level, it is only effective if the State Assembly enacts it. Till date, only 16 out of the country’s 36 States have passed the Act.

Intense advocacy continues for the remaining states. This explains that the landmark in achievement of the legislative arm of government has not yet translated into improved legal protection throughout the federation.  Children are abused physically, mentally, sexually, psychologically and morally on daily basis.

Some who are of school age are on the streets hawking.  Most of them live on the streets and become  hoodlums tomorrow. Others are sent out for prostitution, child labour even at an early age.  Some of these children are even used for rituals nowadays.

Please! Give me a second chance .  .  .” Child abuse: The story of the Nigerian child/Vanguard 

I have had the privilege (of) work(ing) with many abused children ((neglected), physically, emotionally and sexually abused children)  here in California. It is indeed hard to put into words the  very damaging and devastating effect such abuse leaves on these young souls.

Words fail me.  I hope the State presses charges against this woman.

We can begin educating ourselves about child abuse. (Below) is a place to start:

“Understanding child abuse and neglect

Child abuse is more than bruises or broken bones. While physical abuse is shocking due to the scars it leaves, not all child abuse is as obvious. Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, or making a child feel worthless or stupid are also child abuse. Regardless of the type of child abuse, the result is serious emotional harm.

Myths and facts about child abuse and neglect

MYTH #1: It’s only abuse if it’s violent.

Fact: Physical abuse is just one type of child abuse. Neglect and emotional abuse can be just as damaging, and since they are more subtle, others are less likely to intervene.

MYTH #2: Only bad people abuse their children.

Fact: While it’s easy to say that only “bad people” abuse their children, it’s not always so black and white. Not all abusers are intentionally harming their children. Many have been victims of abuse themselves, and don’t know any other way to parent. Others may be struggling with mental health issues or a substance abuse problem.

MYTH #3: Child abuse doesn’t happen in “good” families.

Fact: Child abuse doesn’t only happen in poor families or bad neighborhoods. It crosses all racial, economic, and cultural lines. Sometimes, families who seem to have it all from the outside are hiding a different story behind closed doors.

MYTH #4: Most child abusers are strangers.

Fact: While abuse by strangers does happen, most abusers are family members or others close to the family.

MYTH #5: Abused children always grow up to be abusers.

Fact: It is true that abused children are more likely to repeat the cycle as adults, unconsciously repeating what they experienced as children. On the other hand, many adult survivors of child abuse have a strong motivation to protect their children against what they went through and become excellent parents.

Effects of child abuse and neglect

All types of child abuse and neglect leave lasting scars. Some of these scars might be physical, but emotional scarring has long lasting effects throughout life, damaging a child’s sense of self, ability to have healthy relationships, and ability to function at home, at work and at school. Some effects include:

  • Lack of trust and relationship difficulties. If you can’t trust your parents, who can you trust? Abuse by a primary caregiver damages the most fundamental relationship as a child—that you will safely, reliably get your physical and emotional needs met by the person who is responsible for your care. Without this base, it is very difficult to learn to trust people or know who is trustworthy. This can lead to difficulty maintaining relationships due to fear of being controlled or abused. It can also lead to unhealthy relationships because the adult doesn’t know what a good relationship is.
  • Core feelings of being “worthless” or “damaged.” If you’ve been told over and over again as a child that you are stupid or no good, it is very difficult to overcome these core feelings. You may experience them as reality. Adults may not strive for more education, or settle for a job that may not pay enough, because they don’t believe they can do it or are worth more. Sexual abuse survivors, with the stigma and shame surrounding the abuse, often especially struggle with a feeling of being damaged.
  • Trouble regulating emotions. Abused children cannot express emotions safely. As a result, the emotions get stuffed down, coming out in unexpected ways. Adult survivors of child abuse can struggle with unexplained anxiety, depression, or anger. They may turn to alcohol or drugs to numb out the painful feelings. .  .

Full story on Helpguide.org. 

Photocredit: Linda Ikeji

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