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Underage Sexual Violence out of Control
Underage Sexual Violence out of Control

By - Adedoyin Shittu

Posted - 02-08-2019

The story of Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje, a 13 year old girl, who died few weeks ago after battling Vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) and other health challenges for over 5  months, sparked outrage from the public and concerned Nigerians who are seeking for justice for the death of the innocent girl.

Ochanya went to live with her aunty, Mrs Felicia Ogbuja, at the age of 5. At the tender age of 8, in 2013, she was turned to a sex machine by the Aunty husband, 51 years old Mr Andrew Ogbuja, and his son, Victor Ogbuja.

Her ordeal started when the guardian son, Victor, raped her in 2013. As a mode of operation for rapist, he warned her never to disclose the incidence to anyone. The rape continued for a long time as he forcefully had intercourse with her from 2013 -2015 until he was caught by his sister.

The sister of the rapist dutifully reported the matter to the father, thinking justice will be served. Instead the father took the molestation a notch further by abusing the little girl both from the vagina and the anus.

Reports said she was regularly drugged, abused, molested and raped. Doctors also confirmed that there had been forced penetration in both her private part and anus.

Sad Indeed; it was reported that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 10 boys suffer from sexual violence in Nigeria. And the disturbing part of the whole story is that victims as young as three months old are recorded. Last year, it was reported that, a Kano based businessman was arrested for raping a six months old baby with the support of his wife. Another story reported a 55 years old man who was arrested for defiling his 7 month old step daughter in Katsina. It was also reported that a three men gang, raped a one year old one after the other in Katsina.

These stories are just too common in the News and it makes one wonder; what exactly is wrong with our society. Why are victims of rape getting younger?

It should be mentioned that not only is the girl folk a victim of sexual violence but there have been a rise in rape against the boy child too. The society does not buy that a boy can be a victim of sexual violence but it was reported by “” that 1 in 4 boys are survivors of rape and sexual violence.

Rape is an undignified act; an act against humanity, no one should be raped whether old or young, man or woman, single or married, black or white, but especially not the defenceless children either boy or girl. No one deserves to be raped.

Mostly, the perpetrators of this evil acts are someone the child knows and the violence often takes place where the child should be safe. The vast majority of children never speak out and those bold enough to speak out are hushed into silence and submission.

This defiant is not peculiar to Nigeria but it is a worldwide problem, a video was circulating the net some few weeks back of a white man sexually molesting a 9 month old boy while the little boy cried out in pain.

South Africa, another country that is plagued with rape is known to have one of the highest rates of sexual violence in the world. South Africa also has some of the highest incidences of child and infant rape in the world. More worrisome is the news that out of 124,526 total rape cases reported in the last 3 financial years, 41% of the rape cases are committed against children. In the same time period, 2,600 children were also murdered. That amount to 5% of the total numbers across the country. Children are becoming soft targets for criminals.

According to the DA Shadow Minister of Police, Zakhele Mbhele; “at least 46 children are raped every day and at least two children are murdered every single day in South Africa. Only 21% of child rape cases and only one in three murder cases resulted in successful conviction.” Every three minutes, a child under the age of 7 years was raped in South Africa

Mbhele further said that, “the horrific brutality with which these children were murdered is also frightening. Weapons used include; firearms, axes, spades, pangas, hammers, belts and poison. Many of these children were practically butchered to death”.

In 2002, an 8 month old infant was reported to be gang raped by four able bodied men. Sickening right?

Unfortunately; rape, abuse and murder has become an unfortunate reality in South Africa and over the years, it has affected the old and young, black and white, men and women.

Sadly we live in a society that teaches “don’t get raped” rather than “don’t rape”. Below are some ways we can safeguard children from sexual predators.

  • Always look for group situations to involve your child in rather than placing your child alone with one adult, no matter who he or she is to you.
  • Strongly encourage policies limiting one adult, on child situations in all youth related activities in church, schools, clubs, and teams, anywhere it might be.
  • Make sure parents/guardians can observe or interrupt activities at any time
  • Background check should be carried out on volunteers or others that are working directly with children
  • Drop in unexpectedly when your child is alone with any adult
  • Monitor your child internet use; this is because the internet is becoming a playground for paedophiles. They lure these children into physical contact after gaining their trust.
  • Talk to your children often and try to gain their trust to break communication barriers.
  • Children who disclose sexual abuse often tell a trusted adult other than their parent, know how your child communicate
  • Teach your child that it is not his or her responsibility to protect others
  • Demonstrate daily that you will not be angry, no matter what you child tells you about any aspect of his or her life.
  • Listen quietly. Children have a hard time telling parents about troubling events.
  • Teach your child about their body, about what abuse is and, as age-appropriate, about sex. Teach words that will help them discuss sex comfortably with you.
  • Teach your child that it is against the “rules” for adults to act in a sexual way with children and use examples.
  • Start early and talk often. Use everyday opportunities to talk about sexual abuse
  • Tell your child that the danger may come from someone they trust. Tell them “bad touch is a bad touch” and no one gets to do it to their bodies. If anyone does bad touch, they should go to another adult for help
  • Learn the signs. Physical signs of sexual abuse are not common, although redness, rashes or swelling in the genital area, urinary tract infections or other such symptoms should be investigated carefully. Also, physical problems associated with anxiety, such as chronic stomach pain or headaches, may occur.
  • Emotional or behavioural signals are more common. These can run from “too perfect” behaviour to withdrawal and depression and unexplained anger and rebellion.
  • Notice a child’s fear of going home.
  • Notice if a child is expressing inappropriate knowledge of sexual relations. If a child is a victim of sexual abuse, he or she may exhibit overly sexual behaviour or use explicit sexual language.
  • Notice if there is an unexplained drop in a child’s attendance at school. Children may be unable to attend school due to injuries from their abuse or are intentionally kept out of school to cover up visible signs of abuse.
  • Notice if a child is stealing or begging for food from fellow classmates or members of the community. Children who do not get enough to eat may try to obtain food in whatever way they can.
  • Notice a child’s lack of personal care or hygiene. Young children who have been neglected or abused may appear dirty or uncared for, or have unsuitable clothing for the weather conditions.
  • Notice if there is a decline in a child’s performance in school. Abuse may affect all aspects of a child’s life, including their grades.

If you suspect abuse of any child, be it your child, neighbour child, your students or even a strange child on the street; please take action and report to the necessary office for proper investigation and action. If we do not act now on sexual violence unleashed on our children, we may unwittingly be breeding an angry, psychologically, traumatised, wayward and rebellious generation.


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