Sexual Abuse

Posted February 10, 2009 from Nigeria

This is a situation that has so much caused sleepless nights for me and I am throwing this open to learn from you all, which way to go?

Coming out of the Secretariat where I was discuss the issue of prevalence of child sexual abuse in, I saw some people gathered, watching, others placed their two arms on their head to signify saddening mood and some were screaming passers by were perplexed, some women including myself too really suprised, it is Lagos Life in Nigeria, they are known as Lagos lookers, I moved on to join them. Moving closer to them, I discovered it was a newspaper headline, a girl of 16 coming out to reveal; My Dad is the father of my son. The father is a 70 year old man, definitely, age does not come with wisdom!

The headline was the title of a poem I wrote on Dec 20, 2008. I quickly purchased it, according to her the affair started when she was 12 years old and she thought it was normal for a daughter to indulge in such act with the father. I bought the paper because of the title not because the news is strange to me. Now I waited to watch peoples reactions, some were shouting, the man must be castrated, jailed but in a twinkle of an eye, they are back in their stall, it is now history, it concerns nobody but what I was actually bewildered about is that, why is it that things like this provokes noise for few seconds and it becomes normalised again without any solution or lesson learnt?.

That it is a patriachal society gives no man authority to continually rape the daughter, coupled with the fact that every child is at risk. The mighty mansion, tall gates and barbed wire has not really protected these children from being sexually molested by the so called close relations. But is it that the society wants to normalise these acts that makes everyone stop talking about it.

Our women are the ones that are really not bothered about the consequences of rape or incest on their children, they prefer to protect their men, blaming the children, an instance is that of a woman who approached me after a talk in a church, she said that her daughter was raped by someone she would not want to disclose but she knew the man will never do taht again, it was the devil and the girl's fault, she will prefer if I talk with her daughter only on phone so that I will not know or recognise her daughter . She quickly added, I am only trying to protect her, I smiled, and said o.k but you did not protect her from the abuser who had severally molested her under your roof, she smiled, it is only God that can protect children was her reply, her daughter is 11 years old.

My people, how can we sustain the public interest in the issue of sexual molestation of children of 4,5,6,7,8,9-18years, in no time, we may all believe that it is normal to rape children, or what has a 4 year old girl flaunt to attract a 45 years old man?

Comments 1

  • Jade Frank
    Feb 11, 2009
    Feb 11, 2009

    Hi Olutosin,

    Thank you for your words and sharing the story of this girl and other girls like her in your country. And while the way that society deals with rape may be different from country to country, it's a global issue. It makes me so sad and angry when I think about rape - especially the rape of young women by family members, and how men continue to get away with it. I think you are right in that if this cycle will ever change, it needs to begin with women - acknowledging rape in their family, not tolerating its practice, protecting their daughters, and putting the blame where the blame lies - on the men and those who protect them, not the young, innocent victims.

    Warm regards, Jade

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