SEX IS BIG: 16 DAYS OF SEX TALK(Day 3): WHAT IS SEXUAL ABUSE? (2)

Culled from our Instructional Manuals: S.A.F.E™ for YOU

TIP 68

“During sexual abuse, children feel and incorporate the rage, pain, shame, and sense of perversion that the perpetrator is projecting. They take these feelings into the very core of themselves, and they are badly traumatized by the emotions surrounding the assault, as well as by the assault itself.” Renee FREDRICKSON

 My dearly beloved young ones, it gives me great pleasure to continue this discussion with you today. 

Today, I want to quickly run you through what the law says about sexual abuse. It is important to note that until the law says an act or omission is an abuse, it does not become an abuse.

So what does the law of Nigeria say about Child Sexual Abuse, remembering that a child is anyone below the age of 18 years old?

Let us turn to the Child’s Right Act in Sections 31 & 32 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003, which provides as follows:

31.—(1) No person, shall have sexual intercourse with a child.

(2) A person who contravenes the provision of Subsection (1) of this section commits an offence of rape and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.

(3) Where a person is charged with an offence under this section, it is immaterial that—(a) the offender believed the person to be of or above the age of eighteen years; or (b) the sexual intercourse was with the consent of the child.

32.—(1) A person who sexually abuses or sexually exploits a child in any manner not already mentioned under this Part of this Act commits an offence.

(2) A person who commits an offence under Subsection (1) of this section is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of fourteen years.

Now, let me discuss with you in details the Sexual Abuse and all that relate to it:

  • SCOPE? Any form of sexual involvement with a child (anybody below 18) is an abuse and therefore an offence.
  • READY? Sex is not meant for children. You must not allow anyone to touch you either fellow children/teenagers or adults. Anybody below 18 is not ready for sex.
  • CASES? An estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys have experienced forced sexual intercourse. UN Report on Violence against Children
  • WHO? Boys are sexually abused by men, women and male and female peers; girls are sexually abused by women, men and female and male peers. A report of the British Columbia Institute Against Family Violence, 2006 reveals that 80% of the occurrences studied involved sex offenders who occupied community positions of trust. These male sex offenders were often well known and respected for their work with children. In other 20% of the occurrences, offenders were friends and neighbours of the victims.
  • WHERE? In most cases, sexual abuse of girls and boys is most common within the home or is committed by a person known to the family. But sexual abuse/violence also occurs in schools and other educational settings, by both peers and teachers. UN Report on Violence against Children
  • HOW? Most abuses take place with children at very tender age when they are not in a position to defend themselves; the abuser He/she LURES more than he/she FORCES, plays on the mind of the child and EXPLOIT their TRUST.
  • RESPONSE? 75% of children do not report immediately; 18% waited for more than 5 years.
  • WHY? Studies reveal that the children are always afraid of not being believed
  • CONSENSUAL? According to the Child’s Rights Act, 2003, a child does not have the capacity to give consent for any form of sexual activity. Therefore any sexual involvement with children constitutes an abuse and it is an offence.
  • IGNORANCE? It is not also a defense for an adult, who is caught having sexual relationship with anybody below 18 years of age that at the point of entering into sexual relationship with such person, he thought that the person was 18 years or above.
  • EXCUSE? It is not also a defense that the child lures him/her into a sexual relationship.

The THINK Factor

I want you to be candid about your response on this question and also be bold about it. Do you really agree that sex is not meant for children or children are not meant for sex? Take time to really reflect and share your thoughts in your S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU Personal Journal.

 

 

 

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