I was just thinking about the series I wrote on Abuse a while back and especially the one on sexual abuse. And as I do sometimes, I was reading over those posts again. And I thought to myself, how are you supposed to report something if you don’t even understand what the thing looks like?
In Nigeria here, I challenge you to take a survey about cases of sexual harassment, abuse or molestation. You’re likely to find that when there’s an issue, the first question the victim is asked is:
“Hope he didn’t touch you”.
And by ‘touch’, they usually mean actual sexual intercourse. In our opinion, as long as ‘nothing’ actually happened, you’re asked to just get over it. It’s no big deal and it’s one of those things.
It’s difficult sometimes for such people to come out to say “I have been harassed”. In any case, in the opinion of the majority, there’s no big deal about it. “He only wanted to, but thank God it didn’t happen”, they say.
It seems as if a good number of people don’t even know what is wrong from right.
I’d just like to state a few facts about sexual harassment, abuse and molestation.
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
- Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is forcing undesired SEXUAL BEHAVIOR by one person upon another. This definition obviously broadens the scope being actual physical intercourse. There are several things that constitute sexual harassment beyond the act itself.
According to this article,
Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse that includes sexual activity with a minor. A child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity, period. When a perpetrator engages with a child this way, they are committing a crime that can have lasting effects on the victim for years. Child sexual abuse does not need to include physical contact between a perpetrator and a child. Some forms of child sexual abuse include:
- Obscene phone calls, text messages, or digital interaction
- Sex of any kind with a minor, including vaginal, oral, or anal…
- Any other sexual conduct that is harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare
What do perpetrators look like?
The majority of times, the perpetrator is someone the child or family knows. It’s often assumed that perpetrators would be some weird looking person, but more often than not, this isn’t the case. It’s the most unexpected persons that we see as perpetrators. They often intimidate or coerce the victim into silence. They may even make the child feel like it’s fine and that the child enjoyed it.
What Can We Do?
Seriously, I strongly believe that as mothers, we need to equip ourselves with the right tools to understand how to protect our kids from this kind of situation.
The onus is on us to keep our kids safe from every manner of uncomfortable situations such as this. We have to make sure that our children are not subjected to any form of abuse and to not keep quiet when there are issues to be addressed concerning this. If you don’t take their discomfort about any person seriously now, you may have to deal with far reaching consequences later. Abuse only thrives in places of secrecy.
Read More On This Post Here to know how to deal with this kind of situation.
We should always remember that it’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.