Culture and Religion Should Never be a Reason to Abuse Children

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It saddens Nea-Nea, who spends 18 hours a day boiling raw meat, frying fish and steaming rice for hungry men and women in the Caldwell community to see Dominique being beaten daily by his brother.

Dominique, who is originally from Sierra Leone, is being abused by his half brother after being left by his father, who had to go back to Sierra Leone due to document issues.

Each time he receives blows to the head, swollen black eyes or beating marks on his body, he runs to Nae Nae’s cookshop for refuge.

“Please help me, my brother wants to beat me again, please call my pa and tell him I am suffering here in Liberia,” he always cries.

According to Nae Nae, ‘Dominique is a weak child who doesn’t have the sense to go to police for help, or to run away from his problems. But she also claims that culture will not allow her to go to the police because that is how children are disciplined whenever they behave badly.

“No human rights in this country, they are supposed to know when these things are happening and not wait for us to have tell them,” she added

However, Dominique, who has been living off and on with numerous people since his mother passed away, giving birth to him, says his father also used to beat his brother.

Now that Dominique is in the stage of maturing and understanding life himself, but still a child in the eyes of the law, he feels that his half brother is only doing what he remembers being done to him when he did wrong.

With the permission of Nae Nae, Dominique explained a story that didn’t sit well with this newspaper and those listening to his small cracked voice.

“My brother drinks a lot and whenever I tell him that I am hungry or too weak to help work, he goes crazy on me, loses himself, hurts me. Last night he sent two men on me and they beat me up and took all my clothes off to naked me. I ended up running away from them when they carried me back to my brother and Nae Nae helped bathe me, gave me medicine and put clothes back on me. I was asleep when my brother came drunk and beat me up some more and dragged me home,” he told this newspaper.

According to Nae Nae, Dominique had blood coming out of his eyes and his entire body was covered in blood and bruises.

“I feel sorry for the boy,” says Nae Nae.

Meanwhile, parents try to do the best for their children, but it is mixed with the modern day cultural trend of beating a child ‘bad way’ in keeping that child in line.

Children such as Dominique end up eventually to death, homelessness and street life. There are organizations such as Street Child that encourages families to help abused and abandoned children get off the streets. But at times, these initiatives fall short because of the lack of community involvement.

“If a child is being abused daily, always yelling at, being cussed, treated poorly and at times put on the streets to look for food themselves, then we as a community have to inform authorities. Forget worrying about what their parents will say, save that child’s life and tell the law what is happening,” says Nae Nae who upon the writing of this article went to notify Police Zone 7 Depot of Dominique’s condition.

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