It is 118 days into the year 2015, 2 days to the end of the fourth month. If you are like me, you would have been keeping records of all the cases of Child Sexual Abuse as reported in the media since the beginning of the year. Need I say that the rate is alarming? Even if you’ve not been keeping records, you cannot deny the fact that more than ever before, Child Sexual Abuse has become a recurrent news item. Sadly, statistics have shown that only a few percentage of this evil act gets reported as many families are either ignorant of the appropriate action to take, or are scared of scandals. Therefore, the general public does not get to know about the greater percentage of this menace. Worse still is the handling of the few reported cases by the law enforcement agents. Justice is often delayed. For now, PREVENTION is the key!
Child Sexual Abuse is not just a public health problem; it is also a deviation from Nature’s guiding principles. This menace can occur in a variety of settings, including the home, Place of Worship and school. Beyond the immediate physical effects, the negative psychological impact of this evil act persists over time, sometimes, into adulthood for those that were lucky to have survived the physical damages. The recent cases of a-2-year old that was molested to death by a full grown man, the 13 years old girl that died in the hands of her father’s employer, the 8-year old that died in the process of being molested by a neighbour, the little boy that died after two days of bleeding from the anus in one of our cities, etc come to mind. WHAT DOES THIS TELL US? Every child is at risk. Therefore, all concerned parents and adults should take a practical action against Child Sexual Abuse…it is the duty of every one of us to protect today’s children from the pedophiles that parade the earth presently. As with other diseases that hamper the health and development of children, today’s child should be inoculated against sexual abuse.
The period of passive ‘it’s not my portion’ is over, it is now time for active protection. Protecting a child means educating the child, it means empowering him/her. Inoculating a child against abuse means telling him/her what amounts to abuse and how to detect, resist and report it. No doubt, many parents have failed in this task because a child cannot be empowered against abuse without talking about the strictly private parts on his/her body.
Friends, how have you fared in task? Can you give yourself a pass mark? You must not be a parent to fight this menace, watch your environment and contribute positively to it. Parents who cannot bear the hot seat of empowering their children should seek assistance from professionals. There is no shortcut to fighting Child Abuse. Tough task, especially if one understands the importance of letting children be children. However, our adopted civilisation has corrupted our cultural ‘innocence’. Think about the effect of the media on today’s young people. We cannot talk to them from a level that is below where they presently are. The bulk of the task lies in drawing a line between education and vulgarity. Surely, there are quite a few persons who have the ability to teach children safety skills without scaring them with details that may scare or arouse their curiosity. We must learn to do that which is best for the child’s physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional development. Let’s start now as the ‘beasts’ have in recent times, stepped down to children between the ages of 2 and 12 years.