Hannah Chiamaka Ejimofor
Little Joy ran out with the other kids joyfully when the power was restored. She was happy they were going to continue the ‘jungle book’ they have been watching at their neighbor’s house (Uncle T). But immediately they got to the door, she paused; the other kids ran past her leaving her in her state. Carefully, she pulled off her slippers and walked in quietly. On entering, she sat down at a corner, “Come sit here”, Uncle T called out to her as he tapped the space on the floor next to him. Joy’s eyes shone with both pleasure and fear, she quietly crept to his side and took a good posture. Few minutes later, Uncle T’s hand has found its way into her pants, he stroke and her heart fluttered; then he took her hands and laid them on his groin.
Seven years old Joy felt the hardness!
The American Psychological Association (2018) defined sexual molestation as an abusive sexual behavior by one person upon another which can be either forcefully or by taking advantage of the other person.
A girl child is a female below the legal age which is mostly eighteen years. So taking advantage of such a person sexually can be termed sexual molestation. There is no justification to it. Such a person is unaware of what sex is neither does she understand the implication of such indulgence. In Nigeria, it is an offense under several sections of Chapter 21 of the country’s criminal code and the age of consent is eighteen. So having any sexual activity with a person below this age is termed Sexual molestation.
With the high increase of cases, we can say that child sexual molestation is one of the leading crimes in Nigeria. As at 2005, UNICEF reported that one in four girls has experienced sexual violence before the age of 18 and if a research is carried out right now, you would realize that most girls had in one way or the other, experienced this act of sexual molestation.
The causes of these sexual molestation; most times, comes from poor parenting, the inability for parents to look into a child’s eye and see her needs, her troubles, her desperation and her worries. I have a friend who told her story of how she was molested by her cousin countless times. He did it to her and the other young girls around and the other girls would laugh about how the guy ‘chooks’ them and how they ignorantly look forward to another night with him. But, when he started visiting her room and ‘sexing’ her; she wanted nothing but to be heard.
If you live in a neighborhood where there are men around, it’s advisable you guard your girl child jealously and even tell her about sexual molestation and how to react to it. It’s not a sin to mention the word ‘sex’ or even give them sexual education. By so doing, they get to understand the implication of such indulgence.
Take little Joy in the story above; at this age, she is naive, she doesn’t even know what it is called. She might think it’s likeness or fondness. But as she grows to understand what happened, she tends to develop a feeling of resentment towards the opposite sex and towards sex itself. She might be prude or even have issues during sex which in turn would affect her relationship or marriage. The effect of sexual abuse on the girl child can not be hidden. It is detrimental to the girl child, sexually and psychologically. On the other hand, it can also break her values and norms; thereby, turning her into a woman who sees sex as something that can be done even without attachment.
Sexual molestation is a very dangerous act. It breaks a child and leaves them hanging on a thread that only grace could save. Take care of your girl child, try to understand her and once she starts acting up, try to know why and monitor her reactions.
A good girl is a good mother and a good mother can make good sons to make the world a better place!