To sit in front of a room full of prosecutors from the Nakuru courts was one of the most exciting trainings I think we have ever done. We talked about attachment and trauma and linked it to how that might look in the courtroom, with victims who come before the magistrates.
Everyone in the room was fully engaged, they asked very relevant questions, and we were able to help them to understand some of the complex behaviours that are presented before them. One of the questions was about children who smile and seem to be very friendly with the person that violated them. We were able to help them understand, that what they were showing was total fear of the person that abuse them. They felt they needed to keep that person on side in case they weren’t sent to prison, and were able to carry out threats they may have made, about killing them and their families. This felt highly useful to the prosecutors, who often perplexed by smiling children, when there was alleged sexual abuse.
So much excitement from this training.
Lots more work to do, around supporting the team that we met the last two days, and the fact that every single day in their life they listen to and fight for victims of abuse and trauma. They don’t have the opportunity to process this information before they’re back in court again with another new case.
I would like to personally thank Peter and Eric for their amazing contributions to this training. Eric‘s knowledge of the courts and the way that are girls presenting court was absolutely essential. Peters insight into what a child with trauma feels when they’re standing in front of adults who are claiming to want to help you. He talked about how when he’s asked questions his brain literally goes into freeze. This means he cannot even hear what is being said to him. He explained that children in court will literally shut down, and will look like they are disrespectful and not listening. he helped the whole room to understand that these children are in protection mode, and are fighting to save themselves. Literally fighting for survival so they shut down their brain.
I truly believe that this training is invaluable and has had a lifelong Impact to the professionals that attended.
Thank you so much to everyone from Rafiki Mwema who helped to make this possible