Ragamos Foundation in collaboration with Child Protection Network (CPN) and Smile and Shine Foundation, weekend, held a virtual meeting, to raise awareness on the issues of child sexual abuse.
Participants who have been advocating for the child and women rights, advised mothers whose children have been sexually abused especially by their fathers, to speak out.
A Child Protection Field Officer, Christian Fate Foundation, Mary-Anne Mapenzi expressed concern that in a case of rape of a child, the mothers tend to back out as a result of poverty or stigma they might face.
According to her, “from experience when we were handling cases, we found that mothers were afraid to talk about it even if though their daughters have been abused.
“Some will even go as far as threatening them. Some women are not also empowered so even if their children are going through such an ordeal, they are helpless.”
In a situation when a child has been abused, they said such a child must go through medical test within 24 hours so that the report can be sent to the police.
Founder of Ragamos Foundation and a community leader, Dr. Regina Inem said, “One needs to look for a human rights police officer so that once they are aware that the child has been abused, they can make a case and even call on other non government organisations for help.”
A medical doctor and Founder, Smile and Shine Children’s Foundation, Dr. Nimi Ekere said mothers must support the child that had been abused all through by showing them love.
“It gives the child that confidence,” she said, adding that “when such a child is taken for medical checkup as early as possible, post exposure profilaxis drugs could be given to prevent occurrence of pregnancy or HIV/ AIDS. The child must be taken care of”, she stressed.
Participants at the webinar stressed the need for parents to watchful of the kind of programs their children are watching on the television or songs they listen to, noting that these factors may expose them to sexual abuse.
Other factors they listed include; allowing a female child to be bathed by a male house help, child neglect, drug and substance use, mental instability on the part of the adults, dysfunctional homes, among others.
“A lot of parents are working elites; they leave their children at the mercy of house helps and security guards. Children also access ponographic sites which predispose them to sexual abuse.”
A legal practitioner and Founder of Stop the Abuse Against Children and Women Foundation, Mrs. Toyin Ndidi Taiwo-Ojo said, “Nigeria now has the highest rate of ponographic videos on display, so a lot of of people are being exposed due to the proliferation.”