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Monday, September 26, 2016

Sexual Child Abuse - a Case Study

Written by: Juliet Ohahuru Obiora

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Statistics from the US Department of Justice 2014 indicate that an estimated 60 percent of perpetrators of sexual abuse are known to the child though they are not family members. For example, a number of these child molesters are family friends, babysitters, child care providers and neighbors. About 30 percent of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are family members.

Furthermore, about 10 percent of perpetrators of child sexual abuse happen to be strangers to the child. However, not all perpetrators of child abuse are adults – as an estimated 23 percent of reported cases of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by individuals who happen to be under the age of 18.

In third world countries like Nigeria where we practice extended family system, it is unarguable that statistics of people sexually abused children are likely to be higher with people we know, and mostly people we care about, like relatives, family friends and even siblings, not the assumed stranger whom they have definitely been warned against.

Thus, this sadly leaves our children prepared for the stranger but not for the pedophile within. In addition to this fact, parents and guardians too seem not to envisage the possibility of a pedophile or perpetrator within and even in the event of realizing that there is a pedophile within, they are forced to douse the flames of such an exposure or bury the secret.

Now, a number of reasons have been given for the dousing, most notable amongst these are the issues of trying to protect the child’s identity, whilst the second is said to be for “the sake of the Family Name”.

The victim’s identity is protected in order not to exacerbate the trauma, such a child will go through and also not complicate recovery. However, the challenge of “Family Name” largely sounds ridiculous because even if one separates ones child from the unfortunate scenario, it is not enough as dousing it would only allow a loose cannon to look for the next set of victims, vulnerable children who are at the risk of being sexually abused.

Thus, it is about time we speak up and report cases of child sexual abuse regardless of who perpetrator is to us. We should always remember that our silence allows people who sexually abuse children to get away with it.

Rather than speak up and expose such people, we become guilty as they, as we without knowing drive these pedophiles to further exploit vulnerable children

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