KIKELOMO; a child is to be cared for.

kikelomo
Posted October 10, 2018 from Nigeria
Kikelomo Woleosho speaking at the Lagos British residence.
Speaking at the 2018 international women's day event by the Deputy British high commission for Nigeria.
Kikelomo Woleosho and the Lagos state domestic and sexual violence response team.
Kikelomo Woleosho and the Lagos state domestic and sexual violence response team.: Spoke at the 2018 symposium by the Lagos state domestic and sexual violence response team. (1/5)

The fear of children being sexually molested is now on the increase in Nigeria. As a child photographer and victim of child sexual abuse i know very well the importance of child protection. But what do we do when teenage boys and men soak themselves into pornography? The use of smart phone and internet which is supposed to be a blessing to our generation is the means through which this pornography is being enjoyed. Many times it seem like fun till they want sexual pleasure so bad and they pounce on the nearest vulnerable being around them, oftentimes children and women.

Drug abuse and alcohol is another vice that makes sexual abuse easy for perpetrators. Many times you find someone say they did it under influence. Now alcohol and drugs are very affordable for people whose earning power is very very low. Gone are the days when only the rich afford such vices. You can go through the street of Agege in Lagos, Nigeria and see a sachet of alcohol for N50 or N100. A ridiculous amount that a teenager can cough out from their daily lunch money.

Having been a prey in the hands of my uncle and his son i know that the best way to protect children from sexual abuse is to teach them their rights. Rights to their bodies, rights to say NO to sex and other vices, rights to report any wrong doing etc. The more the perpetrator know that a child knows his or her rights, the more they reconsider the option of abusing the child. 

More than teaching them their rights, adults need to make reporting easy for children. This can be achieved if we soften up on always dishing out instructions to children ,rather we should give them room to always say their view about happenings. A child who knows there is always room for him or her to talk about anything will be bold enough to report sexual abuse cases and every other uncomfortable cases.

Also Love can never be over emphasized. We need to feed children with overdose of love so much that anyone promising them love and affection will not be able to win such conversation. We can feed them with love by saying it to them, saying it to others in front of the children, supporting them through fear and being available as much as possible.

Already i volunteer with the Lagos state government sexual violence department for advocacy. I also use all my social media platform and that of my child photography business to educate parents about sexual abuse and advocate for better choices in protecting the children. I have spoken in about 30 places to address youths about the adverse effect of sexual abuse, substance abuse, the importance of the future ahead of them and the solution they carry inside of them for Nigeria and the world.

To make my child protection advocacy easier, i published a memoir on my firsthand experience with child sexual abuse and share it to the public at no cost. Already it has received recognition from the Deputy British high commission for Nigeria and the Lagos state government as it already serves as a case study that NGO's, Schools and other organizations use for educating the public about sexual abuse.

I hope to see in 2023, a Nigeria that values child protection and gives every child room to grow to their full potential. I also hope to work with the  government in creating a policy that provides life time mental health care for victims of sexual abuse and perpetrators so they do not come out of jail and continue the cycle of abuse. This can be done if the other 35 states in the country will have a shared vision of child protection like Lagos state government. I hope to be able to take some training on civic education and policy making so i can influence the government at all level positively in this direction.

This story was submitted in response to The Future of Security is Women .

Comments 10

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Jill Langhus
Oct 12, 2018
Oct 12, 2018

Hi Kikelomo,

Thanks for sharing your passionate story, photos, video and volunteer work. I'm very inspired by what I read and saw. I agree that parents could be teaching their children about their rights and giving them more love. I also think that confidence goes a long way and also teaching all children to take responsibility for their actions, too. It stops the "boys will be boys" mentality that enable boys, and then men, to do whatever they like.

That's great about your memoir receiving so much recognition and being used for case studies, too.

I hope your 2023 vision comes to fruition. I'm looking forward to seeing more posts from you.

Good luck with your story submission!

Ngala Nadege
Dec 26, 2018
Dec 26, 2018

Hello
Thanks for sharing and educating us.
Good luck with your submission.

Juliet Acom
Jan 07
Jan 07

Hello Kikelemo,
Thanks for sharing your story and highlighting what we need to do as a joint effort to end this vice. You trully are a strong woman and i do pray that your dream to see a sexual violence free Nigeria by 2023 does not only stop in Nigeria but world wide!
I will not stop sharing your story so that others can be inspired to join in the fight.

God bless you!

Beth Lacey
Jan 08
Jan 08

I wish you good luck!
Beth

Tamarack Verrall
Jan 20
Jan 20

Dear Kikelomo,
What a powerful speaker you are, and how great to know that you have found the way to be heard by your community and your government. I am so impressed with your clarity of message, your strength and your passion. Your country is so lucky to have you there, leading the way. Yes, that so crucial mix of knowing our rights, getting rid of pornography and sending out lots of love.
Love to you, brilliant Sister,
Tam

Jacqueline Namutaawe

Hello Kikelomo we are behind you on this goal of a Nigeria that values child protection and gives every child room to grow to their full potential. The struggle continues...

Jane Frances Mufua
Mar 06
Mar 06

Thanks for sharing

Feka
Mar 11
Mar 11

Thanks for sharing your story and highlighting what we need to do as a joint effort to end this vice. You truly are a strong woman

Lisbeth
Mar 21
Mar 21

Nice update this story is. Pls is this so prevalent in your country? I mean drugs abuses? Which age is the highest rated? Are you planning to campaign for it?
Hear from you. Thanks

SIMON MUREU
May 13
May 13

YOU TELL IT RIGHT