SEX IS BIG: 16 DAYS OF SEX TALK(Day 2): WHAT IS SEXUAL ABUSE? (1)

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

TIP 67                                                

“The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind’s most basic duty to protect the innocent.”

James T. WALSH

Sure you are doing great today, my precious young ones. I am sure we are making progress in this our important journey to the Promised Land of Personal Safety and Self-Protection.

We have spent some time, discussing foundational issues, rights and the laws, which provides for them, gender rights and rights of those living with one form of disability or the other.

Now, I think it is time to dedicate some quality time to what really constitutes an abuse. If you must be involved in your Personal Safety and Self-Protection, you must know what to protect yourself against. If you must know what to protect yourself against, you must know what constitute abuse in the eye of the law and what constitute danger. Against danger, you need Personal Safety and for Abuse, you need Self-Protection.

Today, I begin with Sexual Abuse. Sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend or unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent.

Child Sexual Abuse is evidenced by this activity between a child and an adult or another child who by age or development is in a relationship of RESPONSIBILITY, TRUST OR POWER, the activity being INTENDED to GRATIFY or SATISFY the needs of the other person.

This may include but is not limited to:

  • The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity
  • The use of child in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices.
  • The use of children in pornographic performances and materials.
  • Everything from obscene exposure to touching the genitals in a sexual way

According to the Report on Violence Against Children in Nigeria 2014, Sexual Violence include all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. This encompasses a range of acts, including:

  • Unwanted completed sex acts (i.e., rape),
  • Attempted non-consensual sex acts
  • Abusive sexual contact (i.e., unwanted touching),
  • Pressured sex (such as through threats or tricks)

All of these are often perpetrated ‘by any person regardless of their relationship to the child experiencing the violence, in any setting.’

I think you have enough to digest today. Let me draw the curtain and allow you to digest this for the purpose of self-protection. Do have an INSPIRED day.

The THINK Factor

How would you describe sexual abuse in your own words from what we have discussed so far? Take time to really reflect and share your thoughts in your S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU Personal Journal.

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6 Straight Days of #SAFE4MEMovement Encounter on Drug Abuse: Day 5

Culled from our instructional materials: S.A.F.E™ for YOU

TIP 95

DRUG ABUSE (4)

Addiction begins with the hope that something “out there” can instantly fill up     the  emptiness inside”. Jean KILBOURNE

Hello my dear and precious young friends. Sure you are doing great today. How was your night? Sure it was great.

Today, I will continue our discussion on why I think young people use drugs. Here is the 6th and the last reason:  Adventure: as young people, you are very adventurous. Many young people want to test their curiosity. As I always say, life is too serious and real to be lived by trial and errors. God gave you curiosity not to destroy you but to help you to query things for your progress and stand out. Your adventure must never lead to embark on doing something you know could destroy you.

When we were in secondary school, one of our mates went to smoke dry pawpaw leaves. He wanted to taste it. He gave his adventurous mind free flow of expression. Do you know what happened to him? Hmmm…He ran mad just like that. The truth is that he did not finish secondary school with us. I always tell myself that I must never smell what I do not plan to eat. I must not taste anything that has no clear benefits for my body.

Many young people have lost their lives and future as results of adventure. As I have said before here that being young does not mean you are stupid or irresponsible. Any adventure that does not push you forward towards becoming a responsible youth, who will become responsible adult, is not worth it. Adventure must lead you to positive actions and not negative ones.

I have shared with you the six reasons, I believe young people abuse drug. I think I have only two assignments left in this discussion. The first is to discuss with you the impact of drug abuse and the last is to share with you how you can avoid being involved in drug abuse. I will do the first one today and in the days ahead by the grace of God, I will round off with the second.

Drug abuse does not have any advantage for you as young person. As a matter of fact, it is a distraction to your mind. Your mind is very important to your success today and tomorrow. You cannot afford your mind to be messed up by drugs. ‘We know from scientific research that the earlier you start using drugs, the more likely you are to become addicted and suffer serious social and medical consequences. The reasons for this are complex—first, drugs affect the brain, and the brain is still developing until early adulthood.’ Medical science has established that “addiction is a brain disease…. Studies have shown that nicotine, cocaine, heroine, amphetamines and other addictive drugs alter the brains pleasure circuit, known as reward circuit”.

It has also been established that ‘drug abuse and addiction and other mental disorders are intimately related, so this question is like a coin that can be looked at from two different sides. On one hand, we have known for a long time that people who abuse drugs, in general, have higher rates of many mental illnesses. In fact, there is evidence that drug abuse early in life may increase the risk of psychiatric disorders or accelerate their course.’

Above all, drug addiction can cause a young person his/her life. Still in the news is the painful case of Bobbi Kristina “Krissy” Brown, who has been in coma since January 31, 2015 after she was found face down in a bathtub in her Georgia home. Brown has been in the news for a while now for drug use. It is important to note that drug abuse has claimed the lives of many young people, among many other health hazards it brings.

I think I should sign out here. I will be with you tomorrow. I think I need to allow you to digest this very important reason why I believe young people get into drugs. Do have an INSPIRED day.

The THINK Factor

What do you understand by adventure and how do you think it should enrich or advance you as a young person, preparing for a glorious future? Take time to really reflect and share your thoughts in your S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU Personal Journal and share with your parents and other trusted caregivers and friends.

6 Straight Days of #SAFE4MEMovement Encounter on Drug Abuse: Day 1

DRUG ABUSE AND ALL THAT: A CALL FOR A DEEPER LOOK: AN INTRODUCTION

First, let me thank most profoundly Dr. Mrs. Yinka OGUNDE, one of the most committed persons to society and the well-being of our precious children, I know today, for bringing this matter to the fore again and inspiring me to put my pen to this digital paper despite my struggles with my health in the last 5 days.

In our Instructional materials: S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU presented to the public on November 20, 2017, at our Conference to mark the World Children’s Day, we dedicated 5(five) Tips on Drug Abuse and provided profound solutions to the issue, borne out of our many years of field experiences and results…

Permit me to declare upfront that our young people are tempted on all sides by all manner of vices and the list is becoming endless, and they include both popular and unpopular vices. Since we are not in their world, permit me to declare to you sadly that we may never know all the vices they are tempted with no matter how much try and if we will ever know, we will have to dedicate resources to deliberate research.

But one thing we must be clear about is that there is no one vice that is more deadly than the other…All vices that our children are tempted with today either reduces their God-given potentials or destroy same. It is important to note that there is no vice that the young people embrace in isolation. Once a young person is exposed to one vice, he/she finds himself or herself involved in many others.

That is why it is my personal philosophy to address all the vices together and trace then to one source, having worked with young people since 1997 when we start a drug and cult free clubs in secondary schools in Lagos State. The factors which make a young people to succumb to one vice is probably the factor that makes him/her to succumb to all, noting that if he/she can succumb to one, he/she may succumb to all.

It is my well-considered opinion that as many as these vices are, it will amount to chasing shadows to conclude that the vices are the real problem. The vices are not the real problem. I mean they are not the root. They are the fruits. The root and the real problem is the value system we inculcate or omit to inculcate in our precious children and young people. The real problem is our own value system as the handlers of these precious young ones as we can only always give what we have.

This is my argument also about the craze of our young people and the just concluded #BBNaija, where the show, without any positive moral content garnered 170 million votes and yet did not raise concern for many of us, who are genuinely concerned about the socialization of our precious young ones. What we condone or refuses to condone is as a result of our DOMINANT VALUE SYSTM and SOCIAL NORM. Also, what a society rewards, it multiples.

Honestly, I do not think it is going to get better in this ravaging post-truth global culture, where populism is the measurement of what is right and morality has been flung out of the windows of human conducts and interactions.

Another real problem, which is also traceable to our value system, is how we treat our precious young people. We often subject them to sundry forms of abuse. The first impact of abuse is to dehumanise. What is does it mean to dehumanise? ‘Make Somebody Less Human: to make somebody less human by taking away his or her individuality, the creative and interesting aspects of his or her personaility, or his or her compassion and sensitivity towards others’ (Microsoft® Encarta® 2009)

So in most cases, engagement of our precious young people in the vices we are concerned about is traceable to reaction to abuse. It is also important to note that one of the attributes a precious young person needs to confront and repel vices is resilience. Now, it is this resilience that abuses (physical, emotional, sexual and neglect) attack. Never expect a promising and precious young person, whose self-esteem completely depleted and who now lives in the shadow of himself/herself to resist any form of temptation to embrace a vice. In fact such young person goes in search of what vice to embrace since his life has no meaning and compass by the way he/she has been treated or ill-treated.

Thus our solution, which began with the release of our Instructional material is to help our young people and their caregivers to develop moral stamina through the inculcation of what we call the POSITVE VALUE SYSTEM. And what is this POSITVE VALUE SYSTEM? It is simply appealing to our basic sense of what is right or wrong, first according to common sense and second according to obvious moral code of human existence and interactions, with a commitment to always considering the consequences of our actions and omission to self, immediate family, community and the world at large.

The foregoing is the wisdom behind our #SAFE4MEMovement, which slogan is #VALUERevolution, which we are kicking off on May 25 and 26, 2018 to mark this year’s Children’s Day celebration.

Please note that from today, Friday, April 27, 2018, I shall be sharing on here daily all the 5 nuggets shared in the instructional materials mentioned above.

Permit me therefore to begin to share with you the 5 nuggets from tomorrow.

Please young people join me tomorrow and invite your friends.

Thank you…Welcome to a #VALUERevolution.

Do have an INSPIRED day.

Commandment 15 of Rights-Based Communication with Children: Do not pay attention to everything you hear your child do or say

Life itself operates by the principle of win-some and lose-some. An attempt to win all at all times or to have one’s way at all times will lead to highhandedness and being unnecessarily overbearing. When a person becomes highhanded, he represses others and repels them, therefore he cannot inspire them. When a person becomes overbearing, he chokes people and waters down to a point of no value his impact.

As custodians, we cannot afford to be highhanded, neither can we be overbearing. We must give our children breathing space. If we correct them on something today, we should give them room and time to imbibe the lessons and practice the principles before we pounce on them again. When we become overbearing, either as a primary or secondary caregivers, we make life unbearable for our children. They feel they are under siege and slavery and they seek nothing but the day of emancipation.

Many year ago, I read the following in the Holy Writ and it has been very fresh and instructive since then:  ‘Do not pay attention to every word people say,   or you may hear your servant cursing you; for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.’ This is very a humbling truth. Here, I understand that to pay attention to everything our servant say is to commission a search party for what is not missing. And if we see what is not missing, we will find what we did not bargain for. The truth is, we also are not perfect. Why then do we seek perfection from our servants?

In our communication with children, we should pay attention to important issues and ignore unimportant issues. We should learn to wait if the issue is important but it is not urgent. If it appears urgent but not important we should ignore such.

It is our duty to teach our children life skills and principles and admonish them, but when our admonition is too frequent and does not overlook anything, it becomes a burden to our children. I think when it comes to communication with our children, particularly when it comes to correcting them, we should tread carefully and let our feet be rarely found in the domain of correction and chastisement.

I am able to relate to this because of my own childhood experiences. My parents new overlooked any matter. Every matter must be discussed and I must have an answer for every situation and every question. One of the commonest prayers I prayed as a child was for my parents to forget my wrongs. I learnt all kinds of superstitious ways from fellow children on how to get my parents to forget my wrongs. I would remove a strand of hair from my eyebrow and put it on my forehead. I would cross my fingers. Fellow children told me these things worked. Sometimes, they appeared to work, maybe because as troubled children, we had so much faith in them. In most cases, they seemed not to work or even aggravate the situation, but that did not stop us from such senseless practices. We must by reason of survival resort to something since our parents we committed to remembering, discussing and punishing all our wrongs.

The issue again was that our teachers in school were also like that. Therefore it was a case of siege on all sides. This kind of siege has terrible impact on the mind of the child. It introduces fear and paranoia. The child becomes psychologically pressured and has no room be give expression to childhood traits, which are critical to his well-being and development as a person. He does not only begin to lie, he begins to perfect how to lie. He finds not rest in his mind, in his homes and in his school. This is very sad. He thinks all day and all night about his wrongs and the constant bashing of his custodians. He loses himself and his mind. He simply becomes a troubled child, who has learnt to reach into his small mind to fashion his own defence mechanism to the whiles of overbearing adults.

I see many adults today, who cannot have meaningful discussions. They are always on their toes. Once anyone says anything that is not pleasant or they perceive not to be pleasant, they do not seek to understand the person, the next thing they want to do is to defend themselves immediately. This happens between them and their spouses, between them and their colleagues and even between then and their own children. When I see people behave this way, I am interested in their background.

I am able to relate with this because that was the kind of adult I became. I have learnt from childhood to defend myself always and I have erected a defence mechanism in my mind. Thus anytime anything was being said that I perceived not to be in my favour, the mechanism rises inside of me, defies every of my reasoning faculty and blindly goes into the murky fray of self defence. It has taken the grace of God to help me today. The truth is that in this matter, like many other matters of my childhood abuse, I am not where I used to be but I am not where I believe God wants me to be yet. Therefore, I just keep praising Him for what He has done and keep working with Him for total restoration, which has become a lifetime affair. But do you know the most painful truth; I could have been spared of this deficiency if my parents and teachers were not overbearing. They painted mistakes as irredeemable errors worthy of nothing but international and unforgivable embarrassment. Please note that I use the word, ‘deficiency’ carefully because a man or woman, who cannot listen to other because what they are saying appear unpleasant to him/her will not learn from his/her mistakes and therefore will not move to maturity in life and will also be more pain than good to his/her relationships. Those in relationships with such people are in what is called, ‘high maintenance relationships’ in which only few stay on.

I charge custodians today to take it easy with children and give them breathing space. Give them the room to develop their own perspective. Do not spoon feed them. Show them options and allow them make their choices. Watch them make their own mistakes as they learn to make their own choices. Please note that we can only guide children, we cannot teleguide. To guide them is to show them options and to teleguide them is to steal their thinking faculty and turn them into robots, who only respond to our promptings and lead another life when they are outside the coverage of our influence.

I think I should sign out here. Thank you for visiting today. Sure you learnt one or two things on how to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY and Think the FUTURE.

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