Brenda (not real name) was a typical 5 year old – talkative, hyperactive, highly inquisitive and very innocent. Her problem started when a job-seeking 26 year old “uncle” came to live with her family. This uncle was given some tasks in the house which included preparing Brenda for school. He used the opportunity to sexually molest the poor girl. He started off by fondling her and asked her not to tell anyone. As the abuse continued, he told her if she tell no-one will believe her. He started having sex with till he left the house when she was twelve. Today, Brenda is twenty. She finds it difficult to pass any examination no matter how simple. But she finds it easy to sleep with any man. She has been caught sleeping with her father’s driver, friend and several men in the neighborhood bringing shame to her family.
About a year ago, a 10 year old girl died in Ibadan due to excessive bleeding after she was raped by her father’s friend. He came to the house when he knew the children will be alone, sent the younger on an errand and brutally raped his sister. Shortly after that, it was reported by the media that a policeman someone who ought to protect citizens brutally raped a two year old toddler.
A few days ago in Lagos a man raped a 6 year old girl. The man was caught by the victim’s father through the help of some concerned citizens but was assisted to escape by some other people who claim to be the rapist’s kinsmen.
I was listening to a program on radio when a distraught man called in to say he was raped by a man (obviously a homosexual) at the age of fourteen. According to him, this man had a good job and was respected in the neighborhood. He was close to a number of teenage boys but seemed to have a special likeness for the victim. After the rape, this man threatened him about the consequences of telling anyone. The experience left him scarred for life.
The above stories are just a tip of the iceberg. There are several sexual assaults on children that are never reported. This is because most victims finds it difficult to communicate what they are going through. Children tell us their experiences much more by their actions.
Child sexual abuse (CSA) is any sexual activity with a child such as fondling, oral contact, genital contact and sexual intercourse. It also includes any situation whereby an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation or exploits a child for sexual gratification. A child in this case being anyone who has not attained the age at which full civil rights are accorded. In Nigeria, this age is 18 years so anyone below this age is considered to be a child.
Child marriage therefore is a good example of child sexual abuse and according to UNICEF, it represents the most common form of sexual abuse and exploitation of the girl-child
A study carried and published by Clinical Psychology Review showed that there is a global prevalence of child sexual abuse the highest rate being found in Africa.
The increasing occurrence of this societal disease in African countries for example Nigeria is due to occultism and rituals. Children are abused sexually as part of money rituals while some people suffering from AIDS hold the believe that they can be cured by having sex with a virgin.
In my opinion, a lot of parents should be blamed for increasing cases of child sexual abuse. Some mothers are so uncaring and careless. Their kids are being molested right under their noses but they refuse to see it. These kids give signals but they are too busy to notice them. Next week we’ll discuss signs to watch out for if sexual abuse is suspected and what can be done to stop it. We also discuss how to help victims. Have you been sexually abused as a child? We’ll like to hear from you. Have you been able to get over the trauma? We’ll like you to share your story. You may be saving a life when you. If you have been finding it difficult to get over the trauma, do share your story. You certainly will be treading the pathway to healing if you can just summon the courage to pour your heart out. You can share your story through SMS or via my e-mail address above. Remain blessed.
I Discuss Sex Only With My Husband –Mercy Johnson Okogie