The names in the stories presented are not the real names of the persons.
Kehinde was six years old when her neighbour’s male house help started abusing her sexually. It continued for two years until her family moved out of the compound. At their new place of residence, a female house help joined them. It was only a matter of months before the house help continued from where her former neighbour’s house help stopped. Until the female house help left, she kept abusing her. It lasted for one year. Kehinde was scared and she could not tell anyone. In the same house, two other people continued abusing her until three years later when the family moved to another state.
One day on her way to the saloon, a young man met her and after speaking with her, Kehinde followed him. Kehinde when recounting this particular incidence believed that she was not herself then. She thinks she was charmed. The young man led her to a building and even before they entered started touching her. He asked Kehinde to go into the building while he was at the entrance but she stood still. Her hands were behind her and she was holding the money she wanted to use at the saloon. After inquiring what it was Kehinde was holding behind her, he took the money from her and went inside. She ran away and called for help but nobody helped.
She got home to meet her parents who had already been to the saloon in search of her. They asked where she had been. With fear she told them the truth about what happened. The father asked that she be taken to the hospital while the mother wanted her to be taken to the church for deliverance. Nothing happened at last except that they blamed her.
Up till when she narrated this story, her parents were not aware of the years of sexual molestation she had gone through. Kehinde was having ‘A’s in school. She dressed well and attended church regularly. She was a child her parents could boast of in the presence of other parents. But her parents did not know the hurts and scars she has been living with for years. They only knew of the incidence of that day and blamed her. What would they have done if they knew that the same child was abused for years under their roof?
Ada was a child when a neighbour in the compound raped her for the first time. After raping her, he gave her biscuit which cost ten naira. The seventeen year old guy who raped her was a Sunday school teacher and he was called pastor. Maybe it was because he was a “pastor” with concern for the “welfare” of his prey that he gave her sliced bread when he raped her the second time. He used the classic sentence of pedophiles after he committed the act, “If you tell your mother, you and your mother will die.” Because he was called “pastor” parents in the compound did not worry when their children spent time in his room. One day a boy coming out of his room showed signs of discomfort in the presence of Ada’s mother. She inquired and discovered that the boy has been sexually abused. It was then Ada narrated her ordeal at the guy’s hand. As expected the mother went “mad.” It was soon discovered that the “pastor” had molested four boys and a girl in the same compound. There is every reason to believe that the number of children he had abused were more than that. Nobody knows of the children he may have molested in the church. Sunday school teacher, teach me well.
Ada’s parents reported the matter so that the law can take its’ due course. Brethren in church and relatives of the “pastor” begged the parents to withdraw the case but they did not. The story changed. They started threatening the parents, “Kpata kpata five years, they will release the guy and we will show you.” A relative of the guy who was a woman made a report to the authority and before long, Ada’s father and brother were taken up. As at the time Ada’s mother was narrating her story, they were still being detained. If the parents had exhibited violence towards the perpetrator when they heard of Ada’s abuse, many people will excuse and even justify the violence. But they behaved in a responsible and civil manner only that it backfired. It even got worse. A relative of the “pastor” went on social media and painted Ada’s father as the sexual molester of the children. People believed. If the Social Media bill was passed, such a person could be sued for character defamation. Lesson: don’t believe everything you see or read on social media.
John has a genotype of SS. When he was ten years old, a pastor asked his parents to let John live with him so that in four years he could change John’s genotype to AA. The parents consented. The “miraculous” process started. For four years he abused John sexually and SS did not change to AA. The pastor died of AIDS when John was nineteen. John knew that he most likely had HIV. But he defended the pastor saying the pastor did not abuse him but was his lover. He was having Stockholm syndrome. John then had other male lovers.
These stories should open our eyes for the sake of the children. Some parents can be careless with their children. A parent will not leave his wallet in the hands of another man but is ready to leave his child with a stranger. You hear of mothers leaving their female children with the school bus driver as early as 5:30am. Your career and your responsibility as a parent must be balanced else you may have to choose. But there is no career achievement that will bring you happiness if you have failed woefully as a parent. Parents, shine your eyes. Pedophilia as a word is not in the dictionary because of its four syllables that gel. There are pedophiles out there. Protect your children, both boys and girls because both are targets.
As a parent, you need a very close relationship with your children. You ought to know when something changes about any one of them. A parent should find out more when his daughter who usually closes her legs when seated starts finding it difficult to do so. He should ask questions when his boy complains that he needs a bigger trousers because his buttocks has gotten bigger. Some parents ignore clues. The consequence is that a child under their roof gets abused for years without their knowledge. Parents, wake up!
It is bad enough that some parents are failing in their responsibility. It is worse when parents and the society blame the victim in the process of which they make the victim the accused. This is one of the reasons why sexual offenders get away freely with their barbaric acts. The perpetrators need help and when little or nothing is done, the evil act seems endorsed and they go on to other preys. Thus, cases of sexual abuse keep increasing. The cases that we even get to hear is only a fraction of the cases that have happened and are going on. Sexual abuse is so pervasive that the reader of this post may know someone who may have been abused. I have little doubt that some who will read this post would have experienced sexual abuse.
A victim of sexual abuse has wounds and scars which are not necessarily physical. Victims want justice. They want to see the doer of the crime serve the time. But first they need healing and somebody is ready to listen. She is a woman who has proven to be an instrument of healing. She is a professional therapist who has handled many cases. She is Dr. Yolanda N. George-David (PhD) popularly called Aunt Landa. She can be reached on 08074754380 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let the victim who was abused at age seven but has been repressing her feelings since then get help and find healing so that when her daughter turns seven, she does not suffer a psychological breakdown.