Story by: Olubajo Oyindamola Oladoyin

“There is no life to be found in violence. Every act of violence brings us closer to death. Whether it’s the mundane violence we do to our bodies by overeating toxic food or drink or the extreme violence of child abuse, domestic warfare, life-threatening poverty, addiction, or state terrorism.” Bell Hooks could not have hit the nail on the head harder in consideration of how she succinctly captured the lingering pain and agony of children suffering in silence, by those words.

Sexual abuse is no longer a new discussion yet; it seems to have gained its pride of place in our society, with thousands of uninvestigated cases reported by the media.

If only you could to take a minute to imagine a world devoid of sexual abuse. Then take a step further to capture the beauties that would dot our society, where young ones would bask in the joys of childhood – without the gripping fears of the unknown.

The sexual abuse of children (both male and female) has become a trend in today’s society, some of which have psychological and physical impacts on these children, most especially the girl child. More often than not, these children find it difficult to share their experiences with their parents or even their peers as they face fear and intimidation from the perpetrators.

In an encounter with a set of school girls, an issue on this topic came up, to my greatest surprise, about three had gone through a form of abuse or the other. Hearing this, an empathic feeling ran through my veins. I thought within myself “when would this act ever stop?” And wondered how many children would have or be going through such ugly situation. What about the unwanted pregnancies, the sexually transmitted diseases and others caused by this heinous act?

While making a research, I observed that some of these can be blamed on the parents of the affected children. In a situation where they hardly have time for their wards, their inability to enlighten the children on sex education is no doubt the bedrock of these upshots. Consequently, a situation where a parent calls a young girl the wife of an elderly man or boy could as well be the motivating factor.

The effects of sexual abuse to children is beyond imagination as, these memories serve as constant reminder of the horror that they have once experienced. When these victims grow up, some of them find it difficult to control their sexual urge, while others even find it more difficult to give in to sexual intercourse – resulting from past experience.

If only the government would implement strict laws, stating the consequence of sexual abuse as death sentence – there would be a reduction in the number of perpetrators, in view of the fact that several advocacies have failed to yield the desired change.