Author: 
BADEA ABU AL-NAJA | ARAB NEWS
Publication Date: 
Sun, 2011-07-17 01:29

Experts feel that the growing incidence of this scourge is largely due to the victims’ families not reporting such incidents to authorities concerned in order to save the so-called honor of themselves and victims.
Arab News spoke to some of the victims and their relatives to get a wider picture. A bride in the first month of her marriage was shocked when her new husband’s niece told her that her paternal uncle had been sexually abusing her since she was 10.
The new wife said she could not believe her ears and talked to the girl’s mother who said she knew about the abuse and kept quiet to avoid trouble.
She decided to tell her husband who refused to accept his brother would do such a thing, accusing his niece of being a constant flirt with her uncle even when she was grown-up, kissing him playfully. He said had she been truthful, she would have stayed away from the uncle.
The wife also came to know through another brother-in-law’s wife that the same uncle was making passes at her 11-year-old daughter when she once visited with the girl. The mother said she told her husband who preferred to keep quiet to protect the reputation of his daughter, but he has since refused to have any contact with his brother.
A young and very beautiful girl in her 20s had a 25-year-old half uncle who was loved by all family members. She said the uncle started caressing her and praising her beauty.
She said she became very close to the good-looking man who used to pick her up from her school.
She said at times he would take her to his own apartment. “He started harassing me, but thank God we did not go beyond kissing and hugging. I have now stopped going out with him,” she said.
A widowed mother-of-five said her own nephew came to her home and asked to stay with her during his university years. She said she welcomed him and considered him her own son.
She recalled that one night he asked to sleep with her in her own bedroom because he could not sleep alone.
“Naively I allowed him. He insisted on sleeping with me in the same bed and began to touch me. I ran out of the room but kept what he did secret so as not to destroy his future. I considered the whole case as typical of the rashness associated with young people,” she said.
Commenting on the issue, psychiatry consultant Dr. Rajab Brisali said male relatives who abuse girls have no fear of their religion.
“We should inculcate the principles and values of Islam in our children and separate boys and girls when they go to bed,” he said.
Brisali said parents who fail to bring up their children properly could inadvertently cause improper relationships to develop between young men and women in the same family. “Parents should closely observe the behavior of their children and not allow them to cross the line when playing with one another,” he said.
The psychiatrist said children who play games such as “bride and bridegroom” might want to try it for real when they grow up.
“Some of the satellite channels do not shy away from airing sex scenes that influence young boys and girls,” he warned.
Brisali also said family trust could lead to incestuous relationships. He asked girls not to wear revealing clothes in front of their male relatives.

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