7 min read

By Aishat Momoh. O.

Child Molestation, also known as child abuse, 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 established that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 10 boys at some points in their lives have experienced sexual violence before the age of 18.

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There are several types of child molestation like, Defilement, Rape, Fingering, Exposing the genitals to children, Fondling, Making a child watch pornographic videos, Indecent touching amongst others.

Studies have shown that over 95% of sexually abused are by persons known or close to the child or to the child’s family.

These abusers are mostly not strangers, they could, be a neighbor, friend, family member, classmates, maids, step fathers/step mothers, cousins, uncles, nephew, niece, siblings, fathers, pastors, imams, mentors, confidants, nannies, security guards, drivers, housekeepers, strangers, grandparents etc.

We must acknowledge the fact that there are Pedophiles in our society.  Pedophiles are those that show persistent and focused sexual attraction to prepubescent children.

Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to children.

Most times, parental negligence, carelessness, nonchalant altitude, absence of parents, what parents watch with the children at times, indecent dressing by the children, parents not been observant, and when children are not properly informed etc. could cause a child to become a victim of sexual abuse or molestation. For these reason, parents/ guardians should monitor their children/wards and if possible educate and enlighten them on the necessary things they need to know.

However, children can be sexually abused anywhere and at any time. They can be abused on your bed, right under your nose. It could be in the school environment like the classroom, toilet, library, hostels etc. it could even be in their rooms, parties, deserted places, or even when you are distracted.

Mind you, 5minutes is enough to cause a life time damage for a child.

Sexual abuse happens among siblings, set rules, separate their rooms, and separate their beds. As parents we shouldn’t be careless with our children. Your carelessness could ruin your children. Teach your child the SRR action

S- Shout/scream

R- Run

R- Report

Dressing is very important, as parents, you want your children to look good but, dress to cover them properly. Teach your child privacy because it is key. They should always knock and seek permission before entering your room. It is also wrong to bathe your children together irrespective of their sex.

More often than not, attention is given to the girls more than the boys. Boys can also be victims of molestation and it’s mostly terrible for them because healing is a terrible process to them.

Child Abuse have different effects on a child.

The child could begin to have suicidal thoughts, stigma, aggression, they could be withdrawn, depressed, become young parents by having unwanted pregnancy, have lifelong psychological trauma and even be infected with STDs.

Sexual abuse of children can make it harder to build close, trusting relationships.

Relationships can bring up memories of sexual abuse for victims and survivors, and there may be emotional obstacles that make discussing sexual abuse with partners difficult.

Sexual abuse can make victims and survivors feel responsible for changes to family dynamics and the well-being of family members. It can also cause loneliness and isolation by disrupting friendship groups and leading to bullying or being talked about by others.

Some victims and survivors feel that the child sexual abuse they underwent has ruined their relationships with their parents or siblings. This could be because the perpetrator was a family member or close friend, or because they told a family member or sibling about the abuse and didn’t believe them.

The mental health of parents of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse might be harmed because they feel responsible for being powerless and unable to protect their children.

Don’t be a hard mum. Something might just be happening and you would not notice at all. It might be because the child has been threatened by what the perpetrator has said to him/her. Just strike a balance between love and discipline and you would be sure that your child can tell you anything.

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