The trending news in the social media about how a young girl of 14 years old has been defiled by a former popular actor is one of the many incidents of abusing children in our society sexually by people more than old enough to be their parents.
Whether the story is true or not, parents can learn one or more lessons from this pathetic story.
First, we must acknowledge the fact that there are Pedophiles in our society.
What Is Pedophilia?
Pedophilia: alternatively spelt paedophilia, is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children.
The case mentioned above is not the first but it can be the last if we all stand up to our responsibilities as parents, and understand what a child is.
A child is a gift from God and He expects us as earthly guardians to take proper care of each and every one of them.
One of our major duties is to keep them away from these psychiatrist patients called pedophiles.
Below are children care tips
Child Molestation is also known as child sexual abuse. It is a secret crime involving a range of indecent sexual activities between an adult and a child.
According to the National Violence Against Children Survey, it is established that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 10 boys, experience sexual violence before the age of 18 in one way or the other.
TYPES OF MOLESTATION:
- Making a child watch pornography
- Exposing the genital to kids
- Indecent touching
- Fondling etc
WHO COULD ABUSE YOUR CHILD?
Studies show that over 95% of sexually abused children are abused by persons known or close to the child or the child’s family.
ABUSERS ARE MOSTLY NOT STRANGERS.
They are right there in your house, co-tenants, family members, lesson teachers, neighbours. Their friends in school, hostel, classmates, class/school teachers, cousins, uncles, nephew, niece, fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, imams, choirmasters, pastors, confidants, security guard, maids, family /school drivers, Afterschool teachers, teachers, mummy’s friend, daddy’s friend, caregivers, strangers … the list can go on.
Please, do not ask if any of the above is possible because there is no case of any of the above that has not happened in Nigeria. There are media reports on them.
CAUSES OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
Parental negligence, carelessness, non- challant attitude. It is as bad as no one can be trusted. We have a child currently carrying a baby that belongs to her father.
- Absentee parents.
- Parents who do not observe.
- When the kids are not informed.
- What you watch with your kids.
- Indecent dressing by our children.
WHERE CAN YOUR CHILD BE SEXUALLY ABUSED?
- On your bed
- Right under your nose, under your roof
- In the school environment- class, toilet etc
- In their room (siblings)
- Deserted/Abandoned places
- When you are distracted etc.
Perpetrators look for opportunities and 5 mins is enough to cause a lifelong damage.
HOW DO PAEDOPHILES GET THE VICTIMS?
- Emotional bait
- Gift bait
- Financial bait
- Familiarity & Respect bait.
3. Child grooming
Befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, and sometimes the family, to lower the child’s inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse.
Gaining the trust of a minor with the intention of having sexual relationship with them.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A POSSIBLE ABUSER:
- Always trying to be around your child or vice versa
- The child feels uncomfortable when he/she sights the abuser or when the abuser is around.
- Easily and conveniently accept to care for your child while you are away.
- Can be hard on the child especially if the child is rejecting his/her moves.
If any of the above is observed, please, ‘shine your eyes’. Or sometimes, your child might feel uncomfortable/rejecting to go to the person when you send him or her, or even go for holiday.
Sexual abuse happens among siblings, set rules, separate their rooms, separate their beds.
We had a case of twins having sex with each other. When they were asked, they said: we see mum and dad do same.
Why should we be that careless? Because of the carelessness of both parents, their innocent minds were polluted and their lives were destroyed.
WHAT A PERPETRATOR SAYS TO A CHILD WILLING TO SPEAK OUT:
- I will kill you
- You will die
- Your mummy will hate you
- Your mummy will beat you
- Your mummy will blame you.
- Your mummy and your daddy will die.
- He could cut the child, lick the blood and say: this is a blood covenant between us, the day you tell is the day you die.
Teach your child The SRR action.
- S – Shout/scream
- R – Run
- R – Report
POSSIBLE SIGNS THAT YOUR CHILD HAS BEEN ABUSED:
- Difficulty in walking
- Sudden drop in academic performance
- Poor social interaction and so on
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
Their dressing is important, dress to cover them, please. Teach them privacy. They must knock and seek permission before they enter your room. It is wrong to bath them together irrespective of sex.
Children never lie about abuse. If your child tells you someone is trying to mess .with him or her. Please believe the child and respond appropriately.
EFFECT OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
- The abused child could become a *serial* abuser
- Suicidal thoughts
- Lifelong psychological trauma
- Infected with STDs
More often than not, we pay more attention to the girls than the boys. It may not be often reported but boys are mostly victims- anal sex. Many parents do not pay attention to this. For them, healing is a terrible process.
WATCH OVER YOUR BOYS
Something might just be happening and you perceive not. Do not be a hard mum. Strike a balance between love and discipline.
Give your children Sex Education proportional to their age. A child of age 2 or even less is due for Sex Education.
Tell them what nobody must do with their body.
Tell them to speak out.
In the house, everyone must respect one another’s privacy.
Child molestation is real, it is more painful if it happens under your very nose.