It is necessary to let children know, at a fairly early age, that they own their private parts and should not allow others to touch them in inappropriate ways. When you talk to your children about sex at an early age, you give them information that can help them avoid sexual predators and empower them to tell you if anyone takes advantage of their bodies.
Known as sexual predators, child abusers or child molesters could be anybody, male or female, close or distant; even the most trusted person to you could have pedophilic tendencies and probably those who are closest to you are the ones taking advantage of your child.
It is difficult for us to understand the workings of these people’s minds; they have your trust, they are the nicest people and show you they could never hurt a fly yet, they view children differently from a normal person. They could look at a child and think of having sex with them, when an ordinary person would be thinking differently. Therefore it behooves on parents to teach children the importance of reporting anybody who they feel unsafe with or is taking advantage of them.
Horrific and frightening stories have been told about child molestation and sadly, nothing seems to be done to curb the menace; on the contrary, it on the increase daily. Sometimes parents of victims of the worst crime ever known to man have to tell the story of the ordeal their kids went through just to make people aware that things like this are real.
Mrs. Laraba told Leadership Weekend about her daughter’s ordeal in the hands of a pedophile who had been taking advantage of her daughter for a couple of months. The man was a commercial motorcyclist whom they had entrusted the care of their only daughter Tina (not her real name), to It seems that he would pick her from her house to school and bring her back again. Many parents employ the services of these riders to ease the burden of school runs that many parents go through. Unknown to Tina’s parents, the okada rider had been raping their daughter who was just 9 years old at the time.
Tina teacher, who was particularly fond of Tina because of her intelligence, noticed her student’s sluggish behaviour for weeks and decided to find out what was wrong. She was convinced the child was going through some domestic problems or some other issues taht was making her become lazy with school activities. It took sometime to gain her confidence rider enough to extract the truth from her. Apparently, this okada had seen an opportunity to take advantage of the situation and have his way with the poor girl.
He would rape her and then threaten her and sometimes offer her some money or other things to keep her quiet. The next day the same routine would continue. After this horrific revelation, the teacher alerted the school authorities who organised some policemen to lay an ambush for this man. After school, he picked the girl up as usual and headed straight for the usual venue, an incomplete building tucked away somewhere behind the dirt road leading to the girl’s house. As he was about to commit the act, the policemen who had already been stationed there pounced on him and arrested him.
Tina was one of the lucky ones to survive her horrible ordeal; some have not lived to tell their story. Unfortunately the number of children who have fallen victim to such criminal acts are on the increase. The number of emotionally disturbed persons is also getting larger, thereby producing many child abusers who could go to any length to capture their ‘prey’ and sexually abuse them and sometimes even kill them.
Parents are therefore warned to protect their children from them. Here are some tips to help accomplish this and save your child a life time of pain.• Don’t allow your child to move alone to and from school or on an errand. Even if they are walking, have them walk with other children or an adult.
• Warn your child about giving out information about themselves like, where they live, whether their parents are at home or not and other details. Instill in them that old, but very useful safety tip- ‘don’t talk to strangers’. This should be every parent’s tool.
• Know and understand your child; by so doing you will pick the signs that something is wrong with him or her.
• Teach your child about his or her body parts that are sacred and should not be touched by anybody. Ask questions and let them do the same. Communication is very important and letting you know if they don’t feel comfortable with somebody is a warning sign that something is wrong.
• Don’t make the mistake of trusting your male servants alone with your child. Preferably have an arrangement where he does not have to stay in the house longer than necessary. If he stays in the servant’s quarters of your house, don’t send your child there for any reason whatever.
• Check out any after school activity your child may be involved in; she may be lured into staying after school by a teacher who has no good intentions but to take advantage of her.
• Don’t allow your children into your neighbour’s house unaccompanied.
Don’t be too busy at work or get carried away with other responsibilities that you would miss the signs when they present themselves. You owe your child a duty to protect him or her, not just sometimes, but all the time.