Still on the conversation – Enough of the Madness!!! I got really great feedback in response to that post and picked up a few tips that I’m sure we can all use to help stem the distasteful act of child rape and sexual abuse.
- Be alert – watch out for seemingly innocent acts that have a hint of inappropriateness. I remember when I was about 14 / 15 years old, my dad had recently passed on and we had a number of people from church and family come check on us. There was this particular “uncle” who any time he visited would ask me to sit on his laps. There would be people around so it seemed like a pretty innocent gesture but there was something about the way he said it that made me uncomfortable. This was a man I had deep respect for and because I didn’t want to appear rude and I honestly couldn’t fathom that a man that I knew had strong religious convictions, could harbor any “unholy” thoughts, I’d oblige but quickly make an excuse to get up. To be honest it didn’t go beyond that but fast-forward about 7 years after, my mum had been hounding me to go and say thank you to this “uncle” for helping me with my job search. I kept stalling but wasn’t bold enough to tell her why. Anyway I finally chose one afternoon during my break time to visit him in his office and I can still remember the look in his eyes and the way his voice sounded when he said “come closer, don’t be shy…” Only then was I fully convinced that what I sensed back then wasn’t my imagination. I ran as fast I could out of his office. I eventually told my mum about the man’s “unholy” behavior.
- Keep the lines of communication with your child open. Encourage them to feel free to talk to you about anything and please listen with rapt attention for what they are actually trying to communicate. Watch out for leading questions.
- Start early to have age-appropriate conversations about red flags to watch out for. Pastor Nomthi Odukoya’s “No! Don’t Touch Me There” is a great easy to read and understand book that addresses early education and enlightenment for children on their body parts and how to protect themselves from sexual predators. Other useful material can be gotten from bookstores or online. It’s important we remember though that it’s not just about touching…are they being sent or shown inappropriate images, or asked to have vulgar conversations?
- Ensure that your kids are always in supervised situations with at least 2 trusted adults. It is unrealistic to expect that we can always be with our kids.
- Get to know the teachers, coaches, clergy and other adults around your child. Also get to know their friends. Watch how they interact with him or her.
- Carryout proper background checks and get references on all your domestic staff. Once in a while, drop in unannounced. Where you can afford it, install CCTV cameras.
- Predators can be online too so educate your child about cyber safety.
- Never leave your child alone with anyone you feel uncomfortable about regardless of who the person is. Be vigilant but don’t be paranoid. Confiding in a trusted friend to get a second opinion may be very helpful in ensuring balance.
- Do not keep silent. Where you have enough evidence to prove that a particular person around your child could be a pervert, report to the appropriate authorities. If it’s in school – report to the school authority, if it’s another child – report to the parents, if it’s a family member – report to other family members… and if in any of these circumstance you feel the matter is not being properly addressed, escalate it to the law enforcement agencies- you just might be saving another child.
- Where it doesn’t exist, push for legislation that promotes the publishing of names and photos of sex offenders in addition to any severe punishment.
- In the unfortunate event that an abuse takes place; please contact any of the Sexual Assault Referral Centers (SARC) or agencies in your area that provide help for victims. In Nigeria, The Cece Yara Foundation is specifically focussed on preventing and protecting children from child sexual abuse.
- Pray continually for Gods protection over your children.
4 thoughts on “SAFEGUARDING OUR CHILDREN FROM SEX PREDATORS”
This publication is just apt . Men seems to use any female (anything in skirt) from age day one to 100years to ease their pressure. I think apart from protecting the girl child, we should push for capital punishment for rapists. Can there be a way of publicly displaying the photographs of those identified and arrested. ? e.g teachers , principals house helps ,close relatives e.t.c instead of the police covering them up. Enough is enough !
I agree sis. Enough is Enough
I agree the publication is just apt .
to add to your comments ,I think we must remember the boy child as victims also including female perpetrators too .
They must not fall from under our radar as we focus on what people believe to be the only dynamic .