By Bukoladeremi Ladigbolu
A recent online video of the sexual abuse of a child was extremely bizarre to the extent that it sent cold shivers down the spine of most people who were fortunate, or rather unfortunate, to have watched it. I am still grieved by the video as I write this piece. It will definitely take a while before the gory picture can be erased from my memory, if ever. It was in awe that I watched a child being sexually abused by another minor, a girl of about 12. The video, expectedly, went viral on the Internet about two weeks ago.
To say the video was scary is an understatement. For me, it was completely unimaginable to see two minors engaging in elaborate sexual acts, which should ordinarily be way beyond their understanding. In the over five minutes I watched this act of abomination and defilement, anger and bitterness swelled up in me.
I was particularly angry at whoever was behind the camera and wondering why the person chose to record this sordid act. But after I had calmed down and given the matter a second thought, it then occurred to me that if not for this same person or persons, we would never have imagined the possibility of such a gory sight. Subsequently, the anger I initially felt subsided because it has now become clearer than ever before that our society is indeed very sick.
The distasteful act appeared to have taken place in an improvised bathroom, in an apparently poor neighbourhood. As it appeared, the child and his abuser, who, herself, is also a victim in a sense, were set to have their bath. The scene opened with the girl whispering in the ears of the boy, possibly promising him some gifts if he agreed to her proposal. It could be that she was assuring the boy that the experience would be an enjoyable one.
It was apparent, considering the level of expertise they displayed, that this has been an ongoing thing. The girl was surprisingly a sex teacher, too wild for her age and look. She just could not be satisfied. She was simply insatiable. The boy obviously was enjoying it, it was not strange to him, and he was indeed a fast learner. He was comfortable with every act. Without mincing words, these are children of perdition. It could be they didn’t choose to be, but the society has made them who they have become. The exact location is still a mystery, but one thing is certain: it happened in an African country. It could be in Nigeria, it could be in your neighbourhood.
As a mother who has a boy a bit older than the boy in the video, my heart bleeds. Where are the morals? We won’t just sit and fold our arms and thank God it didn’t happen to our son. The pertinent question is: what is the relationship between the girl and the boy? It could be that they are siblings; if they are, they have committed incest. Over to you parents, do you spend enough time with your kids? Are you sure that a trusted uncle or aunt has not abused them? Things are indeed happening. A family friend who is a building contractor went to work for a church member but the couple he went to work for were not at home; they went on ministration to bring lost souls into the kingdom of God, but the kids were around. This family friend was shocked to find the teenage son of this family engaging in sexual act with his immediate younger sister! The housemaid confirmed to my family friend that it had been for a while that this 15-year-old boy had started defiling his 13-year-old sister.
To their parents, they are good and godly children. Parents watch your kids; monitor them closely. It starts from catching them young; teach a child the real name of all parts of his body. A child should know his or her private parts and what they are called. Bond very well with your children so that they will develop this trust and confidence in you, to the extent that they are not afraid to tell you anything. Even when they are being threatened outside and warned against telling their parents certain things, you will be shocked that your child will open up to you. Let him or her know that no uncle or aunty has a right to touch or play with some sensitive parts of his or her body.
I sincerely pity parents who stay in a one-room apartment with loads of children. They definitely are not helping these kids; how do they manage when the sexual urge comes? Do they assume the children are asleep, or won’t just understand? Oftentimes, these kids pretend to be fast asleep and watch their parents live and direct performing their marital roles. Parents in this category willingly or unwillingly have contributed to the rot in the society. We can’t rule out the possibility that this minor and the little boy are from such background. It could be they have become so used to watching their parents and they decided to put into practice what they see every time. Charity begins at home. It is only normal for a child to want to do what he or she sees the parents do.
There is also the possibility that this girl could be a housemaid or a relative brought from the village to take care of this child. Most parents, both educated and illiterate, are too relaxed once they engage the services of a helper. This should not be so; keep an eye and don’t sleep with your two eyes closed. Come into the house when least expected. Observe the sensitive parts of your children’s bodies; perhaps, you may make a discovery. Few years ago, a boy of five called attention to the fact that their housemaid was in the habit of kissing him. What a world!
Parents are too preoccupied with their businesses and careers that they know little about their children. Some fathers don’t know their children’s class, date of birth and their friends. They think they have scored some points paying the school fees and other bills. I pity them. A proverb among my people has it that a child that is not trained will sell the father’s property. Come to think of it, children are exposed to so many things such as the television; they see naked bodies and provocative wears and dance steps. Since parental guidance is lacking, they watch what they want and when they want. This should not be so. Close monitoring is crucial for a child’s well-being and development. We can’t dispute the fact that parents must of necessity make ends meet, but that is not enough reason for parents to leave the well-being of their children in the hands of a complete stranger or neighbour who at times may be sexually abusing such children without their knowledge.
Every year, 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States, US, which involve six million children. The US has the worst record in the industrialised nation. According to a recent survey, 80 per cent of prostitutes and juvenile delinquents were sexually abused as children. According to General Statistics, a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse. Approximately 80 per cent of children that die from abuse are under the age of four. More than 90 per cent of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their assailants in some way. Parents should therefore know that their kids are exposed to so many things while they (parents) are at work. Of course, parents must work but they must first ensure the safety of their children. As parents and guardians, it is important we preserve, protect and guard jealously the innocence of our children.