On Tuesday 13th March, 2018, CRACO visited Delight Int’l School to sensitize the students on the prevalence and effects of violence against children in our society.
The seminar kicked off with the key speaker Barr. Ify Ihionu, introducing the topic which was: RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES, and VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN.
Violence against children is the physical, sexual, emotional maltreatment or neglect of children, especially by a parent or other caregiver.
Violence against children occurs in different forms like (physical, sexual, neglect and emotional), the school children were more excited and agitated when we talked on sexual violence. This is because sexual discussion generally comes with a reaction of discomfort and awkwardness in people. And being children they are highly interested and want to explore the topic more.
They have the notion that some acts they perform on their friends/peers or that adults perform on them were acceptable and a status quo.
However, the guest speaker, Barr. Ify was able to sensitize them on why some acts they may have witnessed or currently witnessing is not appropriate or allowed. In her words “as a teenager, if your parents still kiss you on the lips, it is inappropriate and should stop” she also said that parents should not use harmful objects on their kids otherwise it will leave injuries and long term marks on their bodies.
According to her, the reason perpetrators of child violence get away with it is because they tell the children to either keep quiet or they would die, “DO NOT BELIEVE THEM” she said.
Often children are afraid to speak up, but CRACO counseled them on the need to speak up so this menace can be stopped. She went further by encouraging the children to shout, scream, hit, try to run and do what they can so as to leave any violent situation they may find themselves in.
The students asked some informative, clever and disturbing questions, which we attended to expansively. Some of the questions includes:
• If a child under the age of 18 gets married, is that sexual violence?
• When did rape start and why is it affecting us?
• What if your step mum forces you to have sex and you run away, is it good?
• Is kissing sexual harassment?
• Can you report to the court if your parent sexually abuses you?
• If your guardian abuse you physically and emotionally and whenever you speak up, she denies and lie against you. What are you going to do?
• If my friends discriminate against me, is that emotional abuse?
• Is it true that female circumcision prevents a girl from jumping from one boy to another?
• Is having a boyfriend/girlfriend wrong?
• What is the effect when an older woman sexually abuses a young boy?
• What is the place of corporal punishment in child upbringing and parents flogging with cables or wires?
• If you sleep in the same room with your mum, is that sexual abuse?
• Is it right for a teacher to keep a student under the sun for long hours as a form of discipline?
• If your teacher flogs you too much, is that physical abuse?
• What are the effects of emotional abuse on a child?
• Is it right for a male teacher to flog a female student on her buttocks?
• Is sitting on a boy’s lap sexual abuse?
The questions asked by the students reveals that Children go through harmful and disturbing situations but it appears there is a conspiracy of silence in society about it.
Thankfully through seminars and workshops like the END VIOLENCE CAMPAIGN currently on going by CRACO, our children are exposed to this dreadful issue and hopefully it will be eradicated so children can live a full life free from all forms of abuse.
At the end, CRACO gave out flyers and other documentations with information on what constitutes violence and where to go to for help. We also assured them that perpetrators of violence against children will be made to face the wrath of the law.