I think it was a Tuesday morning some 3 weeks ago, when a series of photos landed on my phone. A nameless girl has taken screen shots of a conversation between an assistant minister and a member of parliament were discussing with some levity what to do with her, now that she was pregnant with the with the latter’s child. The post came with a plea for help.

Suddenly in a wave of awe, the nation stood up in arms taking a stand against people in power for taking advantage of young girls in exchange for something material and in the name of power by posting and tweeting #WeShallNOTFORGET. In the same sentence and much to my despair another completely different crowd of people were promoting #Blessers, described as a group of older men who bestow material gifts on young girls in exchange for sex. 2 Weeks after which, an 18 year old girl took her own life having spent the night in coitus with her enstranged father whom at the time had approached her as a ‘Blesser.sugar_daddy

Epiphany! The newspapers of Botswana belittle young women in rural areas for dropping out of school due to teenage pregnancy, suggesting that perhaps the rural upbringing does not control the sexual exploits of the young and underage when the truth is, it seems, that some man in power, an over sexed old fellow with a belly, has bought this girl for sex from her guardians in exchange for food, clothing or some other material thing. These disgusting old men, make their way into the bedrooms of these girls who cannot protect themselves, are mentally enslaved and helpless as their fathers stand in the next room listening to the lascivious groans of these salacious pigs as they ravage their little girls.

The poor victims of sexual assault are definitely known, broken and with a dwindling self esteem, they are now ridiculed by their insensitive adolescent school mates. You know its true, because in high school people always teased the girl everyone knew was having sex. And these are rough taunts to bear. She cannot concentrate and everything takes a fall, her self esteem and her grades. She finds herself out of school and robbed of a fair education. These men who don’t care know that she will not make it past any level that would bring her closer to university, he can undermine her intelligence even further and continue to abuse her until he sees another ripe fruit ready for the picking. He then leaves her damaged and move onto the next one.

Oxymoronically and Ironically, these are the same crimes under different names. Statutory rape and inter-generational sex, taking carnal knowledge of a minor, sexual solicitation, prostitution and prostitution purchase Its ALL slavery and it needs to stop.

Old men, young men and women must leave these little girls alone. We must protect them.

 

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