Writer and Translator: Sarah Mandor
Editor: Abdallah Sobhi
My message is for parents and for us as future parents.
One of our main duties as parents is providing our children with safety. Giving them unconditional love means you love them despite of them breaking a glass. Firstly, I will check up on you if you got hurt then I will ask about what happened. You made a mistake? I will remind you that I love you no matter what then we will discuss how we can fix it.
Humans who were offered safety and unconditional love in childhood are strong—a girl or a boy who were sexually harassed but have a caring family that makes them feel accepted and cares about them, and not “what people will say about them.” They will speak about it and immediate action will be taken. They will feel better having their support. They need to remember that it wasn’t their fault.
Some of the reasons why a person who was harassed wouldn’t share it with his/her parents :
- “You shouldn’t have worn that; I told you.”
- “You were late, what did you expect?”
- “You won’t go out again at this place, at a late time or alone.” (Being overprotective)
- “What sexual harassment? You are a man. Grow up!”
- “I don’t believe you. You must have imagined that, or maybe you got it wrong.”
- “If you are a girl, then this threatens your future and reputation. It’s shameful and you should stay silent.”
- Some girls may be killed because parents care about their reputation more than they would ever care about their children.
And so many more reasons. Parents should share awareness of the human rights amid there children, should talk with them about their limits with people, and should make them feel accepted and give them the space to speak up and say what happens outside. Parents should teach their children that if someone hurt them physically, emotionally, or mentally, the problem is that person and never them. A family that has sons should teach their sons the manners, how to respect others’ boundaries, and how not to stay silent in front of actions that threaten others and to speak for what’s right no matter what. Men’s power isn’t defined by the strength of their voices or bodies or how they can hurt women. It’s defined by how they make others feel safe and following what’s right.
I hope we build strong connections with our children, connections that make them run to us whenever they need to and know they have a backbone, not feel threatened or be manipulated because of us.
And for whoever lacked safety or unconditional love, here is my favorite quote for you.
“بقدر ما حرمت من الحنان فامنح، و بقدر ما إرتكبت من الآثام فاصفح”