by Rita Oziegbe
It seems having carnal knowledge of little children has become the order of the day. The devil has taken toll of the heart of men, when I say MEN, I don’t necessarily mean MALES but both male and female alike. There are a lot of evil going on in our days, but do we allow the children live with them without our protection and guidance?..... I guess your answer is as good as mine… hell NO!!! You may want to deny the fact that these things happen or reject the possibility of it happening to your child but the truth remains that THEY HAPPEN! Now don’t be blinded to think that it only happens to female children, even the boys get sexually abused too….. Surprised?... Don’t be.
For those of us who think sexual abuse only has to do with penetration with penis , fingers or objects, we are wrong because it involves a whole others such as;
Exposing sexual materials or genitals to a child
Touching/ kissing/fondling of genitals and other areas of the body.
Asking a child to touch their own genitals or another person’s.
Talking explicitly, graphically, inappropriately, graphically about sex to a child.
Forced and non- forced sex with an under-aged child.
With all these, how then do we protect them from being vulnerable?... We begin by not feeding them with lies or myths about sexual abuses. I say this because many parents in trying to deny the reality of these things happening or in their confusion on how to present it to the children, tend to paint the wrong picture to their children. They forget that if they do not tell the children the real truth about the subject, outsiders would and maybe the wrong side of it all. Some believe teaching children about sexual abuses scare them, therefore they think it is best to go mute about it. This is also wrong as the better informed our children are about the happenings around them, the better prepared and protected they are.
Don’t make your children believe that these things happen in only families with problems or broken homes and that they are safe because your own family is a “normal one”, therefore such can’t happen to them. If they are safe within does that imply that they are also safe outside your home. Remember many of the reported cases are perpetrated by members of the family or relatives. It could be their uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins and even by their parents. Make them also to understand that not only girls can be abused. Yes, as strange as it might sound, boys can be abused too. Make efforts to teach your sons how to protect themselves also. And it is not only men that abuse or rape children because women are also being used as the devil’s instrument in this case. Do not fool them by saying it is only improperly dressed girls get abused because even those in flowing gowns are abused too.
Teach your children the right name for their body part even if it is their private parts else someone will teach them and also touch it for them. Let them know the difference between “safe”,” unsafe” and “unwanted” touch and no matter who does the touching, they should be able to say a big NO when it is unsafe and unwanted. They should also say the NO when they are asked to involve in any kind of sexual activity without fear or favour. Build a good relationship with your children as this will help them in telling you anything without keeping secrets. Watch out for danger signs in adult and those that your children might be giving you indirectly about an adult or anyone around them. Control their access to the internet and other media usage as this would help you keep a check on the kind of thing that they are exposed to. At the worst cases, they should scream for help, run and tell anyone that can help.