Working with children, parents, teachers and social workers, Laila Risgallah is building a society that rejects sexual abuse by criminalizing it in the minds of Egyptians and establishing preventative measures for children. You can learn more about her organization, Not Guilty for Family Development, by clicking here.
In this success story, Laila tells Ashoka about an encounter she had with a parent who had attended one of her sessions at Not Guilty for Family Development.
“On December 30th 2013, a couple came from America for counseling about their 6-year-old daughter. The mother had attended with the parents session I gave last year on how to protect our kids against sexual abuse. She had bought the girl’s book, and read it several times with her daughter.
Last month, her daughter was visiting some friends together with her parents. Suddenly, the mother noticed that her daughter was nowhere to be seen. She started looking for her, and noticed that a bedroom door was locked. She banged the door, only to find her daughter with the 12-year-old son of the people they were visiting.
The girl was screaming, “NO!”
The boy had lured her into the bedroom, told her that they were “going to do something secret,” and that “you should not tell your mother and I will not tell mine.”
He undressed her and touched her, but when he asked her to touch him she refused and told him that it was not right. At that very moment her mum banged the door. The mother faced the boy and his mother, sternly telling them that they will never come back to visit them.
On the way home, the girl told her mother,
“Mom, I said NO like you had taught me, but he was too strong.”
The mother thanked her daughter for telling her, and encouraged her that she said NO.
She told her that it was not her fault and that she was NOT GUILTY. When the father came back from work, the mother told him all what she had been taught at the Not Guilty parents session. The father thanked her, encouraged her, believed her and told her that he will protect her.
They came to Not Guilty office to thank me, to ask if this incident will leave any long-term scars, and to ask me to do a session for 10 children, which I will do next week.”