Editor's note: Nigerian criminologist, Obileye Abolaji, writes on the growing abuse of young girls going on in Ijebu Ode area of Ogun state.
Abolaji calls for preventive measures to end the abuse cases against mostly underage children in the area.
Sexual abuse as we used to have it from earliest time is an act peculiar to two able adult at a specific period of time usually engineered by the man as against the woman’s reality. This is not to say women do not engineer the action but it is alien to traditional history until recent time for revenge purpose and all sorts in university campuses.
It is however highly disheartening to hear cases of abuse against an underage children in towns and cities of today. As early as my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) experience in 2013, I was privileged to hear a young girl of four (4) years of age in my area said:
“Mummy when you are not around, Brother Taju fi kokoro won similabe”
This is literally meaning Brother Taju inserts his manhood underneath her. What a smart little girl utterances without knowing the gravity of what she just uttered. Immediately, the entire house started ranting and panting to Brother Taju’s house for serious warning against such further actions.
As expected, Brother Taju denied such acts.Little did I know that the same reality will still manifest in my neighbourhood after a very long time. I got the inspiration to pen down this piece when I went to see crop of friends at an hospital in Ijebu-Ode.
After a while, a medical practitioner came in to narrate the ordeal of abuse cases against underage children in Ijebu-Ode.
According to the medical practitioner, the least of the statistics of underage abuse cases recorded in a week is five as at today. This is statistically implying over 20 underage were assaulted sexualy in a month.
This therefore calls for urgent attention to any reasonable and sensible being. In that same gathering, a lot of causes were linked to such act based on their earlier experiences and all sorts. They relayed the causes to: sexual gratification, ritual purposes, parental negligence, nature of parental profession…
The causes of this heinous act though quite worthy of discussing further but certain preventive measures can be put in place to prevent the occurrence.
Prevention they say is better than cure. In this case, if prevention is not considered as early as practicable by appropriate authorities (parents/guardians/neighbours…), the cure cannot seal back the broken hymen.
Basically, the most important preventive mechanism is centred on the parent/guardian. As a parent/guardian, your sole responsibility is to nurture your child in a way and manner that shields them from societal mess.
As for the male child, their natural safety is still guaranteed with little or nothing to worry about but their counterpart are worth the painstaking effort of the two parent regarding nurturing.
For the sake of your underage daughter’s hymen; you must not send them errands at odd hours,you must teach the habit of sitting appropriately, you must tell them not to sit on any boy’s lap, you must ensure they do not form unnecessary bond with an older/elderly man in the neighbourhood.
Beware of people calling your daughters their wife, as it is too dangerous for you to condole because it goes beyond what you can tell.
Left to this form of orientation, there is little or nothing that can be done to prevent the occurrence of the heinous act “abuse” against underage girls in Ijebu-Ode.
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