My childhood was truncated before it took off when at 6 an older female neighbor in whose custody my parents left me when I returned from school began to violate me sexually.
The sexual abuse assumed a serial nature for a whopping 2 years of my childhood.
The errors of my parents in this avoidable saga which stole my childhood and its innocence were found in these facts:
1. They never had a conversation with me on my sexuality education or any other relevant matter. I was not told to report sexual abuse at the SPEED OF SUSPICION, which is the safe timing for reporting child sexual abuse. I am not sure they were aware of what I today call, Strategies for Preventing Child Sexual Abuse(SPRECSA), not to talk of understanding the 3 pillars of healthy Child Sexuality Education (CSE), which are WHAT, HOW and WHO(WHW).
2. They left me with a stranger because she was a neighbor. A stranger is ‘anyone you cannot vouch for,’ in the words of Olakunle Soriyan. In this regard a dad or mum, grandparents, close relatives, neighbors and others will pass the test of being strangers, if we can be dispassionate enough to decide whether we can vouch for their character or not.
3. They were not vigilant enough to link my abnormal behaviour of craving and being caught in unhealthy sexual activities with the opposite sex, who were my peers. They did not understand the law of cause and effect to be concerned that my bahavior could have been triggered by an undue exposure to sex and sexual activities.
4. We did not have a relationship that was necessary for my protection from all forms of abuse. Love to children means attention and appreciate. When this is in force through tangible actions of the primary parents, our precious children feel loved and safe with them to share their concerns at the SPEED OF CONCERN.
As we mark this year’s Sexaul Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, I think we need to remind our primary and secondary parents of the lucid and ever-relevant lessons from my story, which we must engage as conscious tools of prevention.
When I continue this story next week, I will share how my sexual abuse was not my fault and one eternal and almost irreparable impact of child sexual abuse as believe it may motivate us to pay attention to the sexual health of our precious children.
Do have an INSPIRED week.
I am Taiwo AKINLAMI
I am a ‘Thriver’