Child sexual abuse is a menace; it is a cankerworm that is eating deeply into the fabric of the Nigeria society and little or no attention is paid to it, but rather swept under the carpet. In recently times, we have had the likes of Busola Dakolo, Damilola Adekoya ( also known as Comedian Princess) of Nigeria claim directly and indirectly to be victims of child sexual abuse. As in the case of Busola Dakolo based on feedbacks from radio stations and online platforms it could be seen that many felt it was cooked up to dent the image of the clergyman Fatoyinbo founder of COZA, others felt it was her way of getting the attention of the public for a coming huge project. As in the case of Damilola Adekoya a.k.a Comedian Princess even with clear video evidence showing how Baba Ijesha (also known as James Omiyinka) touched the young teenager left with him inappropriately; people still went ahead to say that it was planned. It goes a long to show how insensitive and unaware Nigerians are as regards issue of child sexual abuse.
For many Nigerian children, sexual abuse is a daily reality and very few get help. According to UNICEF report of 2015, six (6) out of every ten (10) children in Nigeria experience some form of violence – one (1) in four (4) girls and 10% of boys are victims of sexual violence. For the children who had the courage to report or tell someone about their ordeal fewer than five (5) out of hundred (100) received any form of help not even emotionally or psychologically. Motivators/propellers of child sexual abuse in Nigeria are rooted around the use of violent discipline, violence against women, community beliefs in witchcraft and social norms, all of which increase children’s vulnerability.
Recently in Nigeria, there has been a rise in the campaign against child sexual abuse in the country, there is a need for the government to listen to the outcry of the people and take drastic decision in order to nip child sexual abuse in the bud. It is applaud able that we have sex offenders registers created but technically useless because we don’t have a national database that contains detailed information of every one citizen of our nation Nigeria. Also, the way issues regarding child sexual abuse is handled poorly by the Nigerian Police Force (NPC), makes it difficult for children who are victims of child abuse to come forward. The judiciary system of Nigeria should give quick hearing to cases regarding child sexual abuse, thereby restoring confidence in the mind of children who are victims. If child sexual abusers are not allowed to go scot free, it will serve as a form of deterrence to intending future offenders.
Child sexual abuse is a crime that lives with the affected child for life – children who are victims of sexual abuse never forget this awful experience and it can be really traumatizing for these children. In order to aid the recovery of children who are been traumatized due to been sexually abused; family acceptance is on top of the list. Unfortunately, when a child reports been sexually abused instead of the accused to be investigated and if found guilty be punished; people tend to blame the child (i.e. the victim). This act tends to hurt the child when the child is older. Primarily, what we can do as adults/parents is pay attention, notice and discuss this issues with them. There is also a need for such child to be counselled and given appropriate remedies on short, medium and long-term basis. The society needs to work together to support.
Prevention tips include: teaching them to name their body part properly, converse with your children regularly so as to make them feel comfortable reporting issues to you and also build trust in the process. Know your child’s where about at all time, educate them on sexual abuse and other related sexual issues. This will help to curb child sexual abuse