OBSTETRIC FISTULA …The Fate of a Child Bride

According to the United Nations Populations Funds Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic childbirth injuries … It is a hole between the birth canal and bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labor, without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment.

It leaves women leaking urine, faeces or both, and often leads to chronic medical problems, depression, social isolation and deepening poverty.

You do not have to have a daughter to imagine the impact of child marriage. It cuts across countries, cultures, ethnicity and religion. These children are robbed of their childhood, denied their rights to health, education and security, trapping them in the vicious cycle of poverty. And yet these decisions to hand out girls in early marriage are mostly taken by those who should be responsible for protecting them – their own parents and guardians – sometimes in the name of tradition.

Let’s Walk You Through Some Scary Facts

  • More than 2 million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, and Latin America and the Caribbean are estimated to be living with fistula, and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop annually.
  • The group most vulnerable to fistulas is the young bride. Child marriage is a global problem with an estimated 14 million girls given out in marriage before they turn 18, some as young as 9 – 14 of the 20 countries with the highest rate of child marriage are in Africa.
  • The toxic combination of a young girl having sex, getting pregnant and going through childbirth when her body is not developed enough accounts for at least 25% of known fistula cases.

How it Happens..

Without emergency intervention, obstructed labour can last for days, resulting in death or severe disability. The obstruction can cut off blood supply to tissues in the woman’s pelvis. When the dead tissue falls away, she is left with a hole – a fistula, in medical terms – in the birth canal.

Tragically, there is a strong association between fistula and stillbirth, with research indicating approximately 90 per cent of women who develop obstetric fistula end up delivering a stillborn baby.

Obstetric fistula has been essentially eliminated in industrialized countries by the availability of timely, high-quality medical treatment for prolonged and obstructed labour – namely, Caesarean sections.

Today, obstetric fistula occurs mostly among women and girls living in extreme poverty, especially those living far from medical services. It is also more likely to afflict girls who become pregnant while still physically immature.

 

The Tragedy..

If left untreated, obstetric fistula causes chronic incontinence and can lead to a range of other physical ailments, including frequent infections, kidney disease, painful sores and infertility. The physical injuries can also lead to social isolation and psychological harm:

Women and girls with fistula are often unable to work, and many are abandoned by their husbands and families, and ostracized by their communities, driving them further into poverty.

The continued occurrence of obstetric fistula is a human rights violation, reflecting the marginalization of those affected and the failure of health systems to meet their needs. Their isolation means they often go unnoticed by policymakers, and as a result, little action is taken to address or prevent their condition. As a result, women and girls suffer needlessly, often for years, with no hope it sight.

Can Fistula Be Prevented???

Absolutely!! it is 100% Preventable.

Reconstructive surgery can usually repair a fistula. Unfortunately, the women and girls affected by this injury often do not know that treatment is possible, cannot afford it or cannot reach the facilities where it is available. Tragically, at the current rate of progress, most women and girls living with fistula today will die before ever being treated

It costs about $450 to give a woman her life and dignity back. But repairs, important as they are, will not eradicate fistula. There is a great need for programmes that can reach our rural and even urban communities to dissuade them from marrying their daughters as children.

Most importantly some underlying factors such as marginalization of the rights of women and girls such as; lack of quality health services, education,poverty,gender inequality, child marriages, adolescent pregnancy also stand as a huge barrier in the fight against this fight.

Civil society, communities, faith-based organizations, businesses, multinational organizations, schools and individuals must play a role in the sensitization, awareness creation and conversation around this epidemic.

Let’s Raise Awareness about Obstetric Fistula!

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Sources: BlackAfricanandFemale

Domestic Abuse Often Leads to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it. No one should live in fear of the person they love.

When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence. But domestic abuse occurs whenever one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person.

Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. The first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, you can get the help you need. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe.

Do like and share to raise awareness!!

 

 

 

Source: HelpGuide.Org

 

A True Survivor! …The Somalian born Waris Dirie.

Waris was born into a nomadic family, in the deserts of Somalia. At age 5 , she went through the horrific Female Genital mutilation (FGM) ordeal. At the age of 13 she ran away from home, escaping an arranged marriage to a 60 years old man. She was determined that was not the life she wanted…

Continue reading “A True Survivor! …The Somalian born Waris Dirie.”

Breaking the Silence…Narrative of a Sexual Assault Victim

 “I’ve heard that sharing your story helps heal the pain, but it’s never easy opening closed scars, buried with Layers of self hate, regrets and disgust. 

My story is no more tragic than others, definitely even less than some, but every tale of sexual violation is just as damaging as the other. No one should ever have to feel like this, like a thing, an object at the mercy of your violator, used at will in some cases by someone you know and trust, this is most difficult, having to suffer abuse and violations by someone you know, watching them take advantage of your trust.

 

Rape

Your pain matching your violators delight.

The loathe in your eyes matching his cold glare of excitement

Your rage and disgust fueling as he hits his climax.

Your hate powered by the vile smile that dances on his lips.

He’s very aware of your evident hate and pain, he feeds on it.

What he’s oblivious to is the aftermath .

The ugly details of sexual abuse leaves it’s self damaging effect on its victims, with a rather heavy burden. From self hate to hate for the opposite sex, even worse is the shame, psychological and emotional damage this dark secret imposes on its victims. So even years after the body heals physically, the scars remain…. “

I was 18 and had to spend the night with a relative Michael. It was late at night when the fights in school started, and the streets were unsafe for a girl. He took me to his house, mine was farther than his, it was only right we spent the night at his place. I had no reason to feel unsafe, I trusted him not to hurt me.

Until deep into the night, when I felt his hands on my body, I felt violated, I pushed back his hands. He returned them again, this time violently turning me around. I screamed pleading and crying as we struggled, I was no match for him, he was charged, with so much energy and excitement. My pleas fell to deaf ears as he continued. My legs grew weaker with every passing minute, my thighs weak with every punch he fed them, wrestling my Jean pants off he placed his knees between my legs, his right hand holding my hands firmly over my head, his left hand over my mouth. Hot tears burning down my eyes with every thrust, the pain and ache between my legs became unbearable, I wept bitterly, cursing myself.

This was all my fault.

 

Disclaimer: The following story is a real life story and the identity of the persons involved is undisclosed for the purpose of this publication.

 

Source: Black African and Female