Maltreatment of House-helps by Housewives and Guardians,an Evil That Must Stop
Maltreatment of house-helps entrusted under their care by housewives and guardians is as old as history.
Various human rights organisations have tried variously to fight against this evil but it is still prevalent both in urban and rural communities.
In some cases,men(husbands) are involved in this ignoble act.
Just recently a 25 year old woman identified as Mrs Chinyere Ifesinachi was arrested at Nkpor in Idemili North local government of Anambra State by the police for assaulting her house-help and hitting her with pestle in addition to other serious injuries inflicted on her with a heated knife.
Her offence was that she mistakenly threw the little child of her guardian.
Kind spirited people who spotted the little 9 year old house-help while crying and disposing refuse at a refuse dump,noticed the terrible and heart wrenching injuries inflicted on the girl and raised alarm.
They quickly made a video of the incident,reported the matter to the police and with the viral video,their was outrage across the land which prompted the intervention of the Anambra State Ministry of Women affairs led by the Anambra State commissioner for women affairs,Mrs Ify Obinabo and other human and social rights bodies.
It is very unfortunate that evils and violence of such magnitude still happen among our people who are predominantly christians.
These are thesame people who throng various churches every other day particularly on Sundays to listen to the word of God and still go home to perpetrate evil.
There are parents or households who at the slightest mistake,refuse to give food to their house-helps,stop them from going to school or give the all kinds of inhuman corporal punishment.
Some house-helps fall sick and are given little or no treatment.The harsh words and beatings meted to them is like a handshake with the devil.
Most of the house-helps do not feed well and their needs are never met by their guardians.
Some of the parents brand their house-helps witches and subject them to all kinds of inhuman and derogatory treatment.
As a matter of fact,some households heap all their frustrations on their house-helps.
Nigeria cannot claim to be a civilised society if serious steps are not taken to eliminate such modern acts of slavery.
This evil can be eliminated through education and public enlightenment.It is true that their are relevant laws against such abuses but it hasn’t achieved the needed result.
There are rights organisations who are doing their best to fight such abuses and violence but are limited by funds, government support and ignorance among the populace.
Churches and prayer houses have a very big role to play in educating their members on the need to treat their house-helps as humans and stop stigmatizing them with unfounded and primitive beliefs which are unchristian.
There is need for private and public television and radio stations to create contents aimed at educating and enlightening parents and guardians on the evils maltreating young ones entrusted to them.Such house-helps can be provided with help-lines on where to report maltreatment and grievances.
There are many issues like that of the victim,little Idimmachukwu but nobody has brought them up to the authorities for intervention owing to ignorance.
We thank all those involved in rescuing the little girl and ensured that she was rushed to the hospital for attention and treatment.
We call for immediate prosecution of her guardian who perpetrated such evil upon the helpless little child.
However,we do not expect that for any reason,the plight of the traumatised girl would be converted as a platform for political grandstanding and photo-ups by politicians and celebrities.
All must join hands in ensuring that justice is done to serve as a deterrent to others.