All of them are traumatised

According to the UN, more than 200 of the girls rescued from Boko Haram are visibly pregnant.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said that 214 of the rescued girls were “visibly pregnant”, according to the International Business Times.

The online magazine said the claims followed reports that women and girls kidnapped by the insurgents were routinely raped and forced to marry their abductors.

Turai Kadir, who helps in the internally displaced people camps in the city, said the former hostages were “not in great condition”. “All of them are traumatised,” she added.

So that’s their lives ruined.



  1. says

    So that’s their lives ruined.


    I’m grasping for words that are better, but “ruined” sounds almost like a victorian bewailing the untimely loss of someone’s virginity. Their lives have been irrevocably changed, and it’s a traumatic experience. Now the question is what can be done to help? “Ruined” sounds almost like they’re to be written off as “damaged goods” or something.

  2. iknklast says

    Ruined could mean that any hopes and dreams of education are lost. I doubt Ophelia is bewailing the loss of their virginity in quite that way. In much of the world, including the US, it is much more difficult for a woman to gain an education and have a career if she gets pregnant, especially if she gets pregnant as a teenager before she has time to do those things. They will be tied to a child their entire life.

  3. says

    I understand. It just doesn’t sound like the right word.

    I can’t separate my feelings from this; I have a very good friend who is a survivor of some very brutal assaults, and who suffers from PTSD and a variety of other problems from those incidents. Her life has been irrevocably changed for the worse and the trajectory of her expectations out of life is nowhere like what she thought it was, before. Multiple suicide attempts, disassociative events, etc, later, I don’t think she or anyone around her is ready to write her life off as “ruined” – deeply and profoundly changed in unwanted and unexpected ways, unrecoverably so, but still her life, all she’s got, and it’s not ruined.

    I know Ophelia wasn’t bewailing loss of virginity. That’s why I said “… sounds like..” because it does sound like that to me.

    Probably it’s just a “Marcus thing” – as a photographer and a wood-worker, when I say something is “ruined” I mean it’s going on the bonfire or in the wipe-and-recycle bin. Maybe my reaction is a matter of my inner vocabulary. I was not attacking Ophelia’s choice of words because, I know, it was a chosen word. But, damn, it sounds horribly final to me.

  4. says

    Well, it was a choice at speed, as my words so often are – it was intentionally hyperbolic, since I know I don’t know what the future holds for them. But as of now – those shits ripped apart their lives as casually as they might blow their noses. I would have worded it differently if I had thought the girls would be reading this, but you know, they’re not.

  5. says

    those shits ripped apart their lives as casually as they might blow their noses

    Yes. I don’t wish for violence but – seriously – if there’s one purpose for having a massive military like the US’, it’d be to bring home some of the pain those people cause, to them. I don’t think that the word “justice” fits – bringing people like that to “justice” means it’s already too late for their victims. – those are some people I wouldn’t mind seeing shot.

  6. iknklast says

    bringing people like that to “justice” means it’s already too late for their victims

    That’s how it always is. Rather than doing something about the toxic culture of rape that exists in many places in the world, it is only after someone has been raped that any attention is paid (if then!) and then only that one person, that one time. Someone always has to get hurt first. It’s a disgraceful system.

    My heart goes out to those girls.

  7. Helene says

    But let’s not crticize these Islamic thugs because that would be “punching down”.

  8. freemage says

    I’ll admit I had the same gut-reaction to the word “ruined” as Marcus. I’m not sure how I’d re-phrase, though, and of course I know and trust our host enough to know she didn’t mean it in any of the horrible connotations that could apply. It just jarred me on a first-read.

    And quick Google check confirmed my suspicion that Nigeria has strict anti-abortion laws. So, hey, the first and best intervention these girls could be offered is already off the table.

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