In Cameroon, Breast Ironing On the Rise to Stem Sexual Assault and Pregnancy
Warning: Graphic images and triggering language .
In response to the growing number of rape, sexual assault, un-planned pregnancies and contraction of HIV and other STI's, the practice of breast ironing is now on the rise, particularly in rural areas, of the African country of Cameroon.
Breast ironing is performed when a girl reaches puberty, the average age in Cameroon is 9. According to the BBC: "[breast ironing] involves pounding and massaging the developing breasts of young girls with hot objects to try to make them disappear". Hot rocks, hot shells and large, heated stones are among the tools used for this heinous practice. As the BBC article notes, international organizations are starting to take notice and of late, an concerted effort to stop the practice is now underway.
Video on breast ironing is posted within this article from HuffingtonPost.Com.
It is disappointing to know that the response to increased incidences of teen-pregnancy and sexual assault, is to physically alter young girls in order to dissuade the actions of men. It is as if these girls are responsible for the actions of men. Blaming girls' appearance for the increase of assault and unwanted pregnancy is something Western cultures regularly partake in. The next step of actually performing painful and life-altering procedures on young girls, is sad and very sick. It comes close to the practice of genital cutting, although not as graphic and painful. I sincerely hope to see the efforts of the organizations fighting to stop this practice, prove successful.
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