SEXUAL ABUSE: A Guide to Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse

Most Nigerians will agree that child sexual abuse has become a very serious issue, which requires urgent intervention from government and well-meaning individuals in the country. No day passes without the newspapers inundating the public with stories about adult males sexually abusing underage females or women seducing and luring young boys to have sex with them. In some really distressing cases, the victims were as young as five or six years-old. Unfortunately, such detestable incidents, which appear to have reached an alarming proportion, have not been given the kind of attention and response that they truly deserve.
Although parents are expectedly concerned for the safety of their children, many of them do not know how to deal with this problem. A lot more cannot even detect the tell-tale signs that their precious children are being sexually assaulted. For this reason and more, a parenting and family life expert, Bisi Adewale, has written a new book titled, Protecting Your Children From Sexual Abuse. From the first chapter of the book, it is easy to understand the author’s mission, which is to open the eyes of parents to the need to protect their children from the activities of paedophiles in our society.
The book opens with 51 heartbreaking and real-life stories of some victims of sexual abuse in Chapter 1. In each of the cases mentioned, nearly all the victims, who were relatively young and impressionable at the time of abuse, end up nursing the long term effects of child sexual abuse. One of the most shocking confessions, perhaps, is the one captioned, My father is the father of my four children.
This is, no doubt, an example of how emotionally and psychologically damaging child sexual abuse can be to a victim. Although the narrator is deeply involved in an incestuous relationship with her biological father, she was initially abused by the latter at the age of 13. Apparently that single incident triggered something in her, which left her craving more sex with him, even after getting married. The result is a very shameful secret that she is forced to live with for the rest of her life.
In the book, Adewale describes the various ways that a child can be sexually abused, such as exposing the child to inappropriate sexual language and pornography, among others. He also mentions some indisputable facts about child sexual abuse. One of them, cold and hard as it seems, is that about 60 per cent of children are abused by “people the family trusts” or most people whom parents trust with their children’s upkeep.
Adewale reveals that about 80 per cent of sexually abused children have been abused by people known closely to them, such as uncles, cousins, aunties, teachers, spiritual leaders, neighbours, and more. However, from the narrative, it is clear that both male and female children are often vulnerable to sexual abuse. Nobody is spared by this rampaging demon. Indicators or signs that a child is being sexually abused are also discussed in the book alongside factors that predispose children to sexual abuse.
In the book, readers will learn about mistakes that parents make, which expose their children to sexual abuse; what to do when a child is sexually abused; how to prevent abuse and how to protect children from abusers.
Other chapters of the book dwell extensively on the need for sexual education of children, practical ways to protect children from sexual abuse, the various ways to handle sexual abuse, the dangers of lack of sex education, benefits of sex education for children, age-grade sexual education and how to educate toddlers, pre-scholars, grade-scholars, pre-teens and teenagers.

Source (Punch, Tuesday, May 14th, 2019)

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