An older friend shared an experience with me some time ago and I haven’t been able to kick that out of my head.  She told me that she was at a church programme, like a camp vigil and a young man made his daughter sit on his crotch. The fool was lost in ecstasy while everyone was praying.

However, my friend didn’t just watch in silence, she was disgusted.  She stood up and went ahead to stand in his front. She didn’t say a word but she was just staring at him. He got the message and quickly stood up and walked away.  Another older friend of mine on social media shared something on my wall few months ago. He said one member of his staff, a young lady, had come to ask for transfer.  He was surprised because she lived in the same town with her husband. He was curious that she wanted to leave her husband to go to another town. That was unusual. However, he found out the lady wanted to leave town because she wanted to protect her 2year old daughter from her father.

Recently there was a story of a teenage  girl who was raped by some men she sold her wares to. We have heard of brother in-laws having carnal knowledge of their under aged girls. There are stories of uncles sleeping with their nieces and neigbours looking for young girls to give them blow jobs. It is so disgusting.  The rate at which this act of defilement is going, it is alarming. Our young girls are no longer safe, this is a crime against our children, against our daughters and we will not just sit back and let this continue to happen.  For a while now, I have stopped reading stories of children who were defiled by adults. I have stopped reacting to them; I have become totally numb because I am usually helpless when such stories are published.  The best we make out of it is to throw pity parties and then move on to the next thing while the sex predator is lurking somewhere looking for his next prey.

It breaks my heart when women who hire under aged house helps can’t protect them from their randy husbands.  

For these men, when their wives retire to bed at night, they resume night duty with these young girls. They gag them by threatening them with death should they let any other person know about their illicit acts. And if by chance madam gets to know, she will come up with excuses for her husband. Her marriage is much more important than any other person, even if that girl were to be her daughter or niece she would still come up with lame excuses.  

Moreover, I heard that some of these women intentionally allow their husbands abuse these young girls so that they won’t go to other women. How can a woman who birthed children be so callous?

If you are a woman and you are aiding and abetting this crime, I spit on you! Why will a woman ever want to stay with a man who sleeps with a child? Why?

Unfortunately, there are many paedophiles walking the streets freely, the number of convictions are very few compared to what is happening to our girls.  Nigeria police have no adequate record of sex offenders. Sex offenders registry helps keep our kids safe and even the community safe. A situation where our judiciary is flawed, paedophiles will continue to have their way. What do you expect from a country where the police tell you to go ask for forgiveness from the parents of the victim and after you have done that, you can walk freely. They assure you that they are on the matter but they do nothing. What happens to the rights of the victims and their families?  What about the future of the victims? Of course no one cares about that. What is more important to the police is what greases their palms. The cries of these young girls mean nothing. The countless times an adult male forcefully thrust himself to have pleasure means nothing. It is a shame!

I am livid that I come from a country where consequences of inappropriate actions especially to children can be swept under the carpet for some miserable smelly wads of naira.  I am angry that people who should be protecting our children are looking the other way and hiding under the covers of forgiveness and silly traditions.

How annoying can it be when family members of sex predators try hard to prove that he was charmed? They will be disturbing their village witches who were not aware when he had a hard on sighting a two year old girl’s bum. The village witches who didn’t know that the fool find children sexually attractive will be dragged into all the whole mess. Please leave your village witches out of this! You are the one with the problem and you need to go check yourself in a psychiatric clinic.

 Isn’t it our moral obligation to protect the most vulnerable members of our society? If we don’t, then what does that say about us as a country? A paedophile is lower than an animal; he is a scum and need not be treated with any dignity. He should be thrown into the mud and made to feel the terrible pains he had inflicted on his victims.  

Unfortunately, sexual predators are more likely to commit this hideous crime again even after they have served their jail terms. Some don’t even realize that what they have done is wrong. These people genuinely think they are showing these children they are defiling love so there is nothing you can do that will make them change. So, it is saddening that in Nigeria many of them are allowed to walk out freely without justice being served. It is hazardous.

Parents, watch your children closely; most especially the girls. Investigations have shown that 95% of children abused are abused by people they are familiar with. Which Uncle is taking interest in your daughter lately? Ask her questions. Let your children know the real names of their private organs and don’t give pseudo names.

If you want to know if your child is molested, here are the signs to watch out for. Is your child acting inappropriately with toys or objects? Is she having night mares, sleep problems? Has she suddenly become withdrawn or very clingy?  Is she unusually secretive? Check out for mood swings, unexplained personality changes.  Has she suddenly started bed wetting?  Is she afraid of some places or people? Is there a change in eating habits? Outburst of anger?  Does she have a new , older friend and unexplained money or gifts? Is she self harming herself like cutting, burning or other harmful activities. Does she have any physical signs, such as, unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals or mouth, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy? Has she run away few times? Does she avoid being alone with a particular child or young person?

Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare, however, if you see these signs, take your child to a doctor. Your doctor can help you understand what may be happening and test for sexually transmitted diseases.

 Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth, persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements. Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training.

The signs that an adult is using his relationship with a child for sexual reasons may not be obvious. We may feel uncomfortable about the way they play with the child, or seem always to favour them and creating reasons for them to be alone. There may be cause for concern about the behaviour of an adult or young person if they refuse to allow a child sufficient privacy or to make their own decisions on personal matters; insisting on physical affection such as kissing, hugging or wrestling even when the child clearly does not want it; or are overly interested in the sexual development of a child or teenager or insisting on time alone with a child with no interruptions.

Others may include spending most of their spare time with children and having little interest in spending time with people of their own age; regularly offering to baby-sit children for free or take children on overnight outings alone: buy children expensive gifts or giving them money for no apparent reason. 

You should also be disturbed when they frequently walk in on children/teenagers in the bathroom or treat a particular child as a favourite, making them feel ‘special’ compared with others in the family or picking on a particular child.

Always monitor your children’s computers , phones and apps, knowing where they are at all time. Know who their friends are , educate them on what to do in situations where they are vulnerable. There are sex offenders everywhere and they don’t wear horns, they are like every other person and they are lurking in your neighborhood, just make sure your daughter is not his next victim.

About the Author

CRACO is an NGO that is committed to making the Child included and visible. We ensure that matters relating to children are not swept under the carpet but brought to the attention of the world, so that necessary actions can be taken to address such matters for the best interest of the the children. We keep you regularly informed of news and stories concerning children and women around the world.

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