In rewriting Child of War I’ve been drawn back to researching. Google is my best friend. During the first draft many (many, many, many) months ago I researched topics ranging from what it’s like to get high (I had a sheltered adolescence), to the effects of a bullet wound, to internal state violence and the impacts on the population. I find this sort of stuff fascinating (and yet I’m not a riot at a party…strange).
My most resent researching has been in an effort to portray the experience of my protagonist, Jedda, more accurately. Why, in civil wars, do civilians become targets of violence and abuse? What forms does this take?
This answers were simultaneously fascinating and horrifying. Stories from African countries featured frequently in the articles I read. The testimonies of boys and young men who had been abducted and sexually, physically and psychologically abused were heart wrenching and sickening as were the stories from girls who were taken from their homes to be used as ‘entertainment’. It’s difficult to believe that these young people will grow up to be whole, healthy and happy adults.
As I sit in my warm, safe, home I wonder what I can do. I was drawn to this topic for my book because I hope to create awareness and , through awareness, perhaps action and change. I feel pathetic and impotent just writing that last sentence.
I have no answers.
Do you? What do you know about this topic and what are your thoughts and feelings? I would love to hear them.