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Predators with Promises

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During my days as a Teacher at a Public Secondary School here in Lagos, I became quite close to some of my female students. I taught SS1-SS3 students, which placed them in the ages 14-17.

On one particular morning, as the bell rang to signal their Recess, I happened to be parking my car behind the School Block. As I walked into the main compound, two of my female SS3 students were approaching me from the direction of their classrooms and walking toward a waiting car.

I noticed a slight discomfort in their expressions as they saw me, so I immediately asked them where they were going. With shaky voices, they told me they were going on an errand for their parents, and the man in the car, was their driver.

I laughed within myself as I realized that these girls must be under the impression that I’m just entering Lagos from the Bus Park right now. I nodded as they told me the cock and bull story and then made them almost wet their pants as I asked them to take me to speak to their driver.

With shaky legs, they directed me to the car and I approached the middle-aged ‘Driver’ who was dressed in a suit. He regarded me with a blank stare as I introduced myself to him as their Teacher and asked him to please let me know where he was taking them to.

Nonchalantly shrugging his shoulders, he told me he was taking them to get some snacks around. By this time, my girls were practically shaking in their shoes. The bolder one of them kept trying to butt into my conversation with the ‘Driver’ to let him in on her lies.

The entire picture was very clear for me to see. The guy was probably some person who lived in their neighborhood, whom they had arranged this ‘pick me up from school’ rendezvous with, or some random guy they met on the streets who had given them a lift to school sometime.

He wasn’t even hiding the fact that his intentions toward them were nothing short of lewd; the only issue with the whole set-up was obviously this nosy Teacher who was trying to spoil their runs.

I asked the ‘Driver’ to kindly leave the School premises and ordered the girls back to class. I felt it was my responsibility as their Teacher to do that. In my heart I knew I may have spoilt the runs for the present moment, but it wasn’t going to change much as this was clearly something these girls had accepted to be normal.

I wondered at how vulnerable young girls like my students are to predators like the ‘Driver’ I had just encountered, who would take advantage of their naivety and excitement at being treated to something as little as a Mr. Biggs lunch, to exploit their sexuality.

The behavior my girls exhibited that day was simply a manifestation of what they have learned from their environment. They would have felt it was alright for that man to fondle them a little in the car; after all he did buy them something.

How are they to know better when they have not been made aware of the fact that their bodies are not a medium of exchange, but a symbol of their womanhood, which should be preserved with dignity and purity?

As far as they were concerned, I was just trying to enforce my authority as their Teacher by not allowing them to go and ‘enjoy’.

How do you explain to these girls, 10 years down the line, when they have begun to feel the pressures of financial responsibilities, or be confronted with the flashiness of the world around them, that their bodies are not the legal tender into the next level of comfort that they seek?

As a society, we fail to understand the extent of the damage caused by sexual abuse in young children (especially females). Apparently, even arousing a child sexually has the capacity to rob that child of her innocence, as it awakens hormones and emotions in her which should be reserved for Adulthood.

Where are those people whose duty it is to protect the child?

An astounding 90% of perpetrators in sexual abuse against children are by people they know and trust, even here in Nigeria, according to the Media Concern Initiative for Women & Children. The hordes of perpetrators don’t limit their acts to the homes, as a Study of Sexual Abuse among Female Street Hawkers in Anambra state revealed.

Out of 186 respondents between the ages 13 and 22 years old, 130 had been sexually abused. Some of them had been raped, others submitted willingly as an incentive to buy the goods they were hawking. All these abuses were committed by adults.

I personally remember a particular situation when a guest of my parents had drawn a naïve 8year old me close to himself, and whispered in my ear that he ‘loved me’.

Even my tender instinct knew there was something terribly wrong with the way in which he had pulled me close, and besides why did it have to be a secret between he and I that he ‘loved me’? I knew not to play too close to him from that point on.

But mine, is just one mild case amongst a million gory ones. Situations of sexual abuse against children happen every single day in this country, and no-one is speaking up about it because of the fear of being labeled or reproached for being a promiscuous child.

It’s almost unbelievable to accept as truth, that a parent can be unaware of continuous abuse against their female (and even male) children. I’m not a parent yet, but I share a very close relationship with my nephew and niece, which allows me the benefit of being able to identify when there is anything even slightly disturbing to them.

Or is it possible for a child to mask such a deep hurt so cleverly?

Deep inside every troubled woman, lies a child who is seeking the safely assuring arms of her father. She wants to be loved; she wants to be affirmed; she wants to once again laugh carelessly as she is thrown high up into the air, with the confidence that those arms will be there to catch her.

She wants to be protected and to know that her Father will take care of every need she has; emotional, psychological and material. So her unconscious search for her father takes her into the deceptive web of Illusions created by Predators with Promises.

Every new gift she receives from a masked Predator is an affirmation of love for her. She understands the language of ‘if you love me, you will take care of me’.

She wants to be made to feel like a Princess. She wants to be catered to.

She is blinded to the fact that she may be compromising herself in the situation, because she is consumed in the false idea that she has to give herself up to enjoy the benefits of a good life.

And these are the values being communicated everyday through all the various forms of personal and interpersonal media, to the millions of young Nigerian female children.

Do we now blame or judge her for developing into a woman who is a direct product of what her environment turned her into? What other choices was she given? Was she told that any other choices even existed?

Maybe the problem is that no-one but the Predators seem to be making any promises.

Please share your thoughts about this all-important issue…

Photo Credit: LaJames
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Tari’s blog is www.tariere.blogspot.com; also follow TariEkiyor on Twitter

75 Comments

  1. Patricia Ejim

    September 1, 2010 at 9:50 am

    first in!!!!!!!

  2. Nefretiti

    September 1, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I am glad someone is talking about this. A lot of these unfortunate situations are very hush hush and swept under the rug in Nigeria. A friend of mine was raped as a young girl but was told not to report it by her aunty. Many young girl are becoming more materialist, and now think the best way to get the material things they want is to use their bodies. Prostitution is becoming more prominent in our society, many tag it as “runs”. I think its a big shame. We need to talk more about such things and bring them out into the open.

  3. bcgeorge

    September 1, 2010 at 11:06 am

    recently the newspapers were awashed with gory details of how some men,mostly in their 40’s performed lewd acts with minors…one was so nauseating that it brought tears to my eyes.
    im not a parent either but i think those who are should take extra cautions when it comes to all those so called UNCLES,male lesson teachers and random guys do with their little girls… .while the occurence may seem few among boys, they are too significant to ignore as well.May god help us all in this crazy world we live in.

  4. Peperempe

    September 1, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Ok that was waaaay too long, the point could have been made a lot more concisely. In any case, i really couldn’t read it because the style is a bit jarring.

    What is with the capitalization of improper nouns such as Teacher in the first line and Bus Park? Someone has pointed this out before on this site and I think you should please take note. Clever and insightful writing is pointless if one cannot read it without getting a migraine.

    • Ms. Jayee

      September 1, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      I think that comment is a bit uncalled for! For Pete’s sake, what was so lengthy about the article??? yet you can consume a 100 paged Jackie Collins novel and not complain! A serious issue is brought to the fore and you thought best to comment on the ‘capitalization of improper nouns’ Jeez!!! let’s put aside pointless observations and speak on the issue abeg!

    • Peperempe

      September 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm

      First of all I do not read Jackie Collins, secondly I was just making a personal observation.I was looking forward to reading the article but just like when I read most internet shorthand ( c u l8r n d lyk), I started getting a headache. I’m sorry it’s a personal thing.

    • Ms Sassy eyes

      September 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      @ Ms. Jayee, Government worker let people air their views oh.

    • D.O.T.M.H.

      September 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm

      There would always be people like that who feel the need to point out what they feel are mistakes. For your sanity Ms. Jayee please ignore such and leave them to their “intelligence”

    • Lola

      September 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      In certain instances,it is ALWAYS better to restrain your fingers from typing the first set of nonsense that comes into your head.
      THIS is a VERY serious issue that i believe a majority of us have either gone through,know people who have gone through it,or are going through.YET all you can worry about is trivial issues like capitalization,length of article??
      There IS a time and place for everything.
      HERE is not the time or place for such ridiculous triviliaties.

      I am actualy surprised Bellas team approved your idiotic comment,atimes i wonder what the criterion is for allowing comments.
      BOO TO YOU.
      AND HOPE YOU GET A BLINDING HEADACHE FROM MY BADLY CAPITALIZED RESPONSE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • oju

      September 2, 2010 at 7:57 am

      nice one!!!

    • sisi

      September 1, 2010 at 2:50 pm

      Maybe you should put up your own eassy with no “improper nouns” and lets judge.
      but really when you dont have something good to say ..you dont say.

    • niyoo

      September 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm

      YOU ARE SO SHORT SIGHTED.
      PTSCHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW

    • Peperempe

      September 2, 2010 at 10:38 am

      Okay it is good to see that I got the usual barrage of rude responses from BN followers. Maybe you should also think properly before you write a reply to a comment that wasn’t directed at you.

      I have only just read the article and indeed the message is urgent, I never said the issue was trivial. I wanted to point out that the author was unintentionally trivializing riddling the article with unnecessary errors. If one wants to write about a serious matter, then one should attempt to write seriously. Chima Adichie has also written stories about serious issues and the reason why people listen and take her seriously is because she takes her writing seriously.

    • Peperempe

      September 2, 2010 at 10:40 am

      * unintentionally trivializing the issue by riddling *

    • Zahra

      September 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      @Peperempe…tisha oloyibo…Her name is Chimamanda Adichie! Get it right! WTF is “Chima Adichie”? Since when did that foolish familiarity and bastardization start. PPPSSCCCHEEEWWW!!!

    • fokasibe

      September 2, 2010 at 10:57 am

      Phew!!! And your point is? With all your love for pointing out the correct use of Improper nouns and all what nots, I’m rather shocked about your love for internet English! I would have thought that being the English Professor that you are, you would abhor all forms internet speak like your famed c u l8r & d lyk. Mcheeewww.

      Tari, well done on the post. I concur with you on all points, I guess I’m lucky I didn’t fal victim to this thanks to my mothers constant reminders on the ills of this world and God’s grace! We need to constantly remind our children about these things because there is evil lurking in the hearts of (wo)men!
      It lills me when I read shocking stories of minors abused! What are people thinking? SMH!

    • Justino

      July 27, 2011 at 6:32 pm

      Now we know those that indulge in this act, what has noun got to do with the subject of discourse??

  5. Africhic

    September 1, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Tari,
    This is so true! And its still a wonder that things like this are not discussed with children. Irrespective of whether you are wealthy or not a child has to be taught the value of self. If you feel you are not of any value then you would sleep with anyone for Mr. Biggs till you graduate to a Herme’s bag( could fit in the accent). Its so sad!

  6. Miss Natural

    September 1, 2010 at 11:21 am

    There are many perspectives to this issue. Abuse can be examined from the family and bad parental role models, from peer pressure, the root causes are endless. There are the girls who like you rightly say allow themselves to be used and abused because that’s all they know and usually for financial reasons. This group can be split into two, there are some its become a happy lifestyle and there are those who recognise that this lifestyle is a problem. The other extreme of this ‘use and abuse’ group are those of the sex tape generation. Paris Hilton, Kim K and Montana Fishburne. For them its not financial constraints or (at least on the outside) lack of parental love. I cant even explain what drives them. It is possible for children to mask everything they’re feeling. This is made much worse because some parents are out of touch with their children and that is a lethal combination.
    Abuse in any form is horrible and some of what we can do to prevent it as parents, sisters, brothers etc is to speak candidly about it and to make sure the used and abused know that they are precious and worthy to treated as such.

  7. adenike

    September 1, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Good job Tari… I think parents have a whole lot to do. I had a nasty experience at a tender age and i masked it very well because i was in the boarding house. My mum is/was a single parent and everything she could think of was “my daughter must not lack anything in school,how will i pay her fees,how will i send her provisions” et al.. So the last thing she could ever think of was someone hurting her lil’ daughter or that daughter hiding such. But guess what? I’m yet to tell her and i don’t think i ever will. I doubt forgiving my father because he never protected me,he wasn’t there for me at any point in my life…………………..
    *Why am i opening up*

  8. nonye

    September 1, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Tari you have dealt this issue a very good one! First the problem is that parents dont spend as much time as they should with their children especially mothers. But can anyone really blame some of them? they need to work to support their husbands or run the entire family as it were. Well somethin has just got to give, and while I havent figured it out yet, I know thattcertainly someday a permanent solution to this madness will be found.

  9. abused-girl

    September 1, 2010 at 11:46 am

    well, its hard to say but the truth is that I was abused by a maternal uncle at the age of 7…and now that i am 25, i only wish him dead at any given chance.
    Men r d same everywhere, they make u feel u have what they want and would give u what u want if u let them have their way.
    Most times i don’t blame they young ladies who give up themselves to ‘this drivers’.

  10. belle

    September 1, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I think parents and guardians are so busy trying to make ends meet, make maoney and “live the life” that they tend to forget that their primary responsibility, which is to protect and care for their children and wards. If only they can come to realize that being comfortable is important but can never be as important as being there for your child/ward at all times, especially when they need sound advice most.

  11. glory

    September 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    am so glad for this post, i was a victim my self and it isnt up to 3 yrs i just forgave my self nd moved on.. i hope parents learn.

  12. more'deenah

    September 1, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    ‘Tis ashame wats goin on in our environment under our very nose! no child seem safe frm abuse no matta hw u shield him/her..frm d random stranger..to the useless brother in-law.
    Jes recently i heard a story of a man sumwia here in abj who raped HIS 2yr old daughter!…nw who u gonna blame 4 dat? I leave this 4 d Almighty who knows all and sees all to judge…but as regards d story unfortunately this isnt a big deal anymo’
    2days kids are over exposed and think they Know it all thus its difficult 2 reorientate dem wat wit african magic and books that r not rid of sex scenes…well sha…hmmm*sighs*

  13. honey

    September 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Finally! Tari, May God bless you…you dnt wanna know ow much i just wanna squeeze ur hand n give u a tight hug, for writing about such a sensitive issue.

    This is wot we call Cross-generationl and Transactional Sexual relationships in the field of public health, and it is so common in Naij, jeez, no be small thang! Also, the ‘culture of silence’ is wot is killing most adolescent gurls, no thanks to our cultural norms and patriachal societal values! I was gisting wiv a couple of my friends and u needed to hear the deepest secrets most of us kept from our parents abck in d day. if one uncle dint force a kiss on u @ age 10, it must have being daddy’s ‘agbaya’ friend telling you, ” he will buy you chocs” if u follow him to the car, where he would force a kiss or press ur tiny-lil-boobs or probably tell u to touch his gidi-gidi(u hear all sorts….its appauling!). unfortunately, not all parents are upfront about talking to their children on sexuality issues. The earlier effective parent-child-communication takes a ground root in today’s homes and community, the better for the girl child and the society at large. I wish this could be printed in newspapers and other media. This so called ‘predators’ should also be punished severly if and when caught! The only problem is the child might not want to speak out, and if she does might not even be believed. We all need to be a part of this action, encouraging girls to say NO to sex trade or fondling of any sort ot sexual harrasment sef…. On the contrary, some of these girls (like u r student for instance,) genuinely get involved in such relationships cos they are poor. So,this issue has got many faces! to be honest!

    I gbadun dis ur post sha…, and on the active side, Iam passionate about doing something!anything, as long as the message is passed to these young girls, that they deserve the best and their body is more precious that any amount of money!. xoxo

  14. Mom-to-a-toddler

    September 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I have a little girl and everyday I wonder if I’m doing enought to protect her. The predators are often people they know and are comfortable with. A mom might even get a funny vibe off an “uncle” and give herself a mental shake cos …naah, he wouldn’t! Unfortunately, he could as so many others have done. I try to cover all the bases, talking, watching, just generally being vigilant but most of all, I pray. May God save our little girls and the not so little ones too.

  15. Ms Sassy eyes

    September 1, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Personally I think our parents were too trusting with friends and relatives.
    When I was maybe six or seven an aunt was living with us and she was seeing some guy in the area. One day she snuck out to see her boyfriend under the pretense of going to the market and she took me along. Getting to the guy’s one room apartment, they sat for a while on the bed talking. All of a sudden both of em started asking if I was sleepy and I’m like, ‘No, I’m not’. Then my aunt spread a cloth or blanket at the foot of the bed and told me to sleep. And I’m wondering what kind of “by force” sleep is this? Anyway I think they got busy after that and I was to scared to watch. All I remember seeing was the entangling and disentangling of their legs.
    My point is anything could have happened that day to me and I thank God nothing did. I was really close to my mum and I told her everything immediately she came home from work. My aunt had to leave the house.

    • Ms. Jayee

      September 2, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      ooohhh!!! so you do see that this is a serious issue? And you dare call me a Government worker! looool!!! mschewwww *smh*

  16. blackberry

    September 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I am glad this has been raised up. I was abused by several househelps as a kid and I hid it very well. Parents need to become be vigilant and learn to create the kind of relationship with their kids where they are able to discuss these issues without being scared. My only worry now, on reflecting back, is these ppl move on to other households and might do exactly the same thing. Shame really hisss

  17. candey

    September 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    1st thank Bella for this site it’s becoming a real place to enjoy great articles . Tari God bless u for such a sensitive article.
    I think the problem start with parents, before anything else. We should be present in our girls life and tell them from the start how valuable they are and how respectful they should be to their own body. I have a step-daughter and i know how a teen can be mistreated by her own hormones; so I talk to her, and I’m also very vigilant.I pray my God to help me through hence it’s sure is a huge task. To top it all, we have all these explicit music, showbiz conveying them to seek for love in the wrong way. Leaving here in the state i think not much is done to protect kids from this raw world. It’s a worldwide issue that has to be addressed.

  18. Adowa

    September 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    I stand up to applaud. Well done on a script well written. Our girls should know this. Parents teach your girls, let them know that it isn’t okay to sell their bodies in exchange for materials. it is not okay!

  19. D.O.T.M.H.

    September 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    hmm… I’m tempted to ask for the wrath of God to descend upon all those men. It’s not just uncles but house helps and drivers (real drivers Tari :)). We can only pray for God’s continuous protection over our children and try our best to be sensitive and listen to everything our little children tell us cos I’ve seen parents ignore the things their children are telling them because they think it’s just baby talk.

  20. Glory Edozien

    September 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    hmmmmm…..Personally, I think we have to be careful about where we lay blame with issues like this. No one knows for sure what sort of homes these girls may come from. What we should instead be addressing is the messages available to the youth in our society.
    Personally, i think there are way too many negative influences out there that in some cases may far outweigh any positive parental influence.
    As a country and as individuals, i really think we need to pay more attention to what we term acceptable and what isnt and reflect carefully about what sort of messages we send out for the younger generation.

  21. soon to be married

    September 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    what if I say my step brother almost took my virginity in the name of being in love with me. What if I tell you my friend got thrown out of the house with a five month old pregnancy that belonged to her sisters husband. Its everywhere incestuous uncles and brothers paedophilic priests and all that. The truth is gone are those days where parents will avoid the sex talk and pretend the kids will learn. I am soon to be married and I simply hope that God will give me wisdom to bring up my children properly its the most fundamental task in the world.

  22. Bunny

    September 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    It’s funny because i have fought the urge to reply to this particular piece. Tari, i think you are fantastic (i shall remember to tell you this when next i see you). I had a cousin who lived with us growing up and one evening, after numerous advances in very subtle ways, takes me to the balcony and tells me to kiss his “private”, i was 8 and he was about 16 i believe… I grow up with only boys, i am the last of 5 kids, all boys, so i knew how to handle myself to some extent. I promptly explained to him that kissing his “private” would be wrong because i wouldn’t be able to tell mum or dad about it! He laugh and stroked me but let me go. But at that moment i was robbed of my innocence, it occurred to me at that very moment that this was the reason my mum had always been so protective of me around my brother’s friends, uncles etc, it suddenly dawned on me that some men NEVER see young girls as children but rather as a means to satisfy whatever sick ideas they have in mind. It is really only God and constantly educating the little girls (and boys) around us. I tell my niece not to let any one tickle her, not because it’s bad but so she can identify when a man is being too forward.

  23. Suzanne Brume

    September 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    If you research the amount of children that have been sold into the sex trafficking trade, your mouth will drop to the floor. It’s like adults are paying to have sex with kids? Ewww. And it mostly starts with getting into a car with the wrong person.
    But at least if we start talking about it, and they see that the little things they do in their youth could have an effect on who they become when they grow up, that may create some awareness for our children. Thanks Tari.

  24. Hellen

    September 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    God bless you for telling my story for me, a Good piece of an article indeed

  25. Mee

    September 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    As a society we have a huge problem at hand which we really have not acknowledged. I believe we really think this is a trivial issue. How do we explain a senator marrying a 13-year-old girl and justifying his actions with his religion? What do we say of movies that show a youth corper “falling in love” with his 15-year-old secondary school student or worse still a rape victim marrying the rapist because he did what he did out of love? How about rape victims that cannot come out to say anything for fear of being blamed; not only by the society, but by their parents? We need to become more aware and more proactive against abuse.

    • niyoo

      September 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm

      word!!!!!!!

  26. Truth Speaka

    September 1, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    You guys this is a serious thing. All these predators trying to woo little innocent girls and the not so innocent alike . I heard the song Mr.Aristo on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCkkSct2fWU by one naija babe Moyeen (? I think her real name is Moyo or something ) anyways and it was talking about the same jist . We women need to start a movement against all these predators lurking around our young flowers !!!!!!!!! Abi ?

  27. Esther

    September 1, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    This is the most emotional important and touchy topic i have ever read on this site. i have beening crying just as i have be reading the aticle and comments of others.Things like this happen in our society every day. I was molested by a pastor at 13 and when i told my mother she said i should keep quiet about it beacouse if i say it out nobody will believe a man of GOD will do such a thing , but it did happen. what i mean is that most parents fall to protect their children.

    • jagged past

      September 5, 2010 at 6:37 am

      abused by a Catholic priest who my parents took as a son. I mean, I’ve forgiven but have not forgotten. Parents watch out

  28. niyoo

    September 1, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    As mothers (to-be) we should ensure we bathe for our kids …….. you will be able to notice any new cuts, bruises etc, who knows.
    In sunday punch [29/8/2010] a 3 yr old girl was raped by her neighbour. she told her mom before going to bed that ”baba rashida do me” imagine. On getting to the hospital, she had no hymen, and there was odour from her vagina. One wonders what kind of STD/STI the guy has infected her with.
    I just hope we instill good values in our kids, and teach them not to allow any1 touch them, or report ASAP if anything out of d ordinary occurs. God help us!!!

  29. Udechukwu Nonso Osita

    September 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    This is a situation that I can relate too, having witnessed many such incidents of girls paying back ‘in kind’ in UNILAG.

    I think both the girl and her environment should be blamed for this unfortunate culture …

    ‘Maybe the problem is that no-one but the Predators seem to be making any promises’ … Of course. they are the only ones who promise utopia in exchange for a little ‘some-some’.

    I would rather now go beyond blaming. How to we attack this problem? What has gone wrong with our values?

    Once upon a time, sex was reserved for those who were married. What changed?

    ‘Nonso, don’t be naive. the world has changed. keep up with the times’. If ‘the times’ now accepts that sex isn’t just for married couples, then I don’t see why it shouldn’t accept that sex can be used as a medium of exchange.

    My point – we (men and women) need to redefine our values, remind ourselves and everyone else that ‘sex is only for the married’. Address this, and the ‘predator’ problem will go away.

    Too extreme, you think?

    Taciturn Turned Talkative
    http://uononso.blogspot.com

  30. Ujubaby

    September 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    I’m glad someone has finally raised her voice on this issue. The law should be re-inforced and should prove very severe for these ‘devils’, dats my own opinion. And also, sexuality education should not be shyed away from in schools, even in the home. I was fortunate to know in my teen years that such is immoral and to some extent against the law (not sure of now). Also in my teen years, I know some girls who thought they were ‘girlfriends’ of d so-called big boys in church, not knowing they were victims of pedophilia, it even caused quarrels btw us cuz they thought I was jealous, Lord have mercy!

  31. Rotimi

    September 2, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Nice one Tari, what is happening now is more terrible than this .i know a girl who communicates quite well with her mum. Aside dating all kinds of men for money.Her mum also told her, there is nothing wrong in sleeping with a married man.
    For the past two years , i have heard all kinds of terrible things.
    Tari, thanks once again for bringing this to the fore.

  32. Lady Jay

    September 2, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Hi Tari, I have a little girl and I pray everyday that she always sees me as a confidant. Presently, I’ve found out that I can actually have a meaningful conversation with my 5 year old son and I strongly believe that as long as parents assure their children that there’s nothing they can’t tell us, it will be easier for them to come to us with any thing at all they find disturbing. In addition, all children must be constantly given commendation and affirmation because as we all know now as adults – “you profess what you confess” and that comes from deep inside.
    Kudos to you for this article, as I am sure that not only have you indirectly told someone’s story, you may have just saved one young girl from engaging in unnecessary “runs”. Cheers

  33. WaleAdeniji

    September 2, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Tari, you have done a very wonderful job on this topic. Reading some of the comments here, i am actually shedding tears. I feel the pain of those who have been victims of abuse. I am envelope with fear by the fact that i have a daughter of about 8 yrs old who is far away from me due to circumstances beyond my control leaving her mother to do all the protection and care for her. Shade, if you get to read this, i want you to know that i really appreciate your effort. I wish i could as well join hands with you to care for our little angel. To everyone of us here, we could one way or the other do one thing or the other to stop this trend in our society. It starts by speaking out which Tari has done here. Wish our kids God’s protection always.

  34. NOT*JUST*OK*POLICE

    September 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

    thanks for bringing this up…as a youth I resented all adult males because all the chicks I had crush on when I was 13, I couldnt talk to because they rolled with adult males who bought them a lot of things that i couldnt at that age, I guess thats y I now gravitate towards older females, it also didnt help that our house-help practiced with me when i was barely an 8 yr old boy…of course its not as traumatic as with a lil girl but I guess thats another reason y I look at women sexually always

    I think the issue needs to be addressed and matter stopped…I also feel Nigerians need to all stop being doctors, lawyers and engineers…and produce more psychologists and psychiatrists not just to help victims and also decipher the problem and explain it, so these perverts get it

    remember sexual health for mental health

    yours truly, an aspiring wordsmith successor to Honorable Patrick Obahiagbon (igodo mi godo wordsmith)

    http://twitter.com/notjustokpolice

  35. onthesubject

    September 2, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Interesting article and even more interesting comments…as a victim of abuse at a tender age,I cannot say that it can always be avoided by parental guidance/advice…how do u advice a child in nursery school about such? I cannot remember exactly how old i was wen the abuse started but i cudn’t have been more than 3/4 at the very most cos I remember it was always after school and I was still in nursery school…it was the gardener, who must hav been in his 40s at the very least as he was very bald

    Whilst I regret being robbed of my innocence at that tender age (altho I didnt understand this then), I am thankful that in all he did to me,he never tried to penetrate me…but there is nothing else the animal didnt do to me…we lived in a big house on very extensive grounds,so he never took me to any locked room…it was always in a quiet corner of the compound, so i never thot what he was doing was wrong…infact,i thot it was me doing something wrong so I hid it very well…by the time i had started primary sch,he had stopped working with us…there were many others ‘predators’ to follow – drivers, cooks…

    it was only in my adulthood i have come to realise that it wasn’t my fault and finally told my mum last yr…i didnt tell her about the others, only the gardener…she almost fainted! She cried and cried and begged me to forgive her cos she didnt know

    The point of the story is, i do not think i wud hav understood if my mum tried to hav ‘the talk’ with me aged 2…so it wont have changed what happened with the gardener…maybe the others, but not the gardener…and i dont know what the solution to sexual abuse at that age is n whenever i hear about other ppls experiences, it breaks my heart n i’m afraid that nothing can be done to stop it save raising the girl child in a female only community

    Then again, there is the risk of lesbian abuse! anyone who went to an all girls school can relate to that…i did…

    Can this battle ever be won?

    • Sonihar

      September 3, 2010 at 3:49 am

      I was a victim of lesbian abuse. As a young girl from the age of 6/7 y.o, I had been touched by female housemaids and fondled and tickled in my private part by house-helps (male and female). As a young teen in boarding school, I was also smooched, fondled, and fingered by an older girl when I was in JS 2. I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t know why it was happening to me. I felt guilty and kept asking myself why I was attracting the wrong kind of people.
      Now as an adult, I know it was not my fault. My personality to be secretive was used against me in times where I should have spoken up. These days, childhood innocence is a fleeting concept. Once many kids turn 5 y.o, they have already been robbed of their innocence. Society as a whole needs to take responsibility of young people – people who are still growing up and learning to understand their sexual emotions.

  36. nerd phelan

    September 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    interesting topic…..

  37. DU

    September 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Tari,the lord would continue to bless u and gives u knowledge n wisdom.All the comment are so emotional.No matter the protection from the parent, we need to call on God for divine protection on my children.cause u never can tell wen the “idiotic stupid Predator” would strike.
    @Bellanaija.com.pls. Tari deserve the Most outstanding contributor on this site.Check the comment trend.

  38. DU

    September 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    meant “our children”

  39. Yt "Boss"

    September 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I love this piece and hope we all can do something with it. Be more aware as parents, aunts, guardians, neighbors. Every one matters. We can help if we are more vigilant and desist from be too self involved. Thanks Tari!

  40. Yinka

    September 2, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    One problem is that we are not told about out bodies early enough in Nigeria. Parents still find it taboo. Many of my friends and I unfortunately discovered our femininity ourselves and am sure many Nigerians would say the same.

    The biggest responsibility lays on the parents. Teach your children the value of their body EARLY and what constitutes inappropriate contact. If those girls knew and understood their self worth and that the body is the holy temple of the lord, am positive they would reconsider their behavior.

  41. Bola

    September 2, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Many Nigerians are determined to make sure that their ‘good name’ is not soiled regardless of the severity of the circumstance. Sadly, such people tend to either ignore their kid’s complaints or blame the kid.

    To prevent this kind of abuse:
    -Parents mothers especially) should tell their children not to allow anyone to touch them in an improper manner. The kids should report any such happenings asap. Also, kids should not remain alone in custody of any adult(s) that the parents do not trust.

    -Pray that Go will protect your child

  42. molarah

    September 3, 2010 at 3:25 am

    Tari, big ups on this piece. Moving forward on this issue, i believe its time for us Nigerian women to start opening up, and telling our stories, so that we can begin to experience a season of healing. As far as I’m concerned, practically all of us have gone through one nasty experience or the other in the hands of molesters. We need to educate the upcoming generation. Young girls that have been abused need to be told who the real villains are, and made to understand that they are still precious, they still have value, no matter what they have gone through. (because I believe that’s one of the root causes of sexual promiscuity – lack of respect for their bodies due to abuse). The materialistic attitude is just an offshoot of this problem – young ladies would exert themselves and work hard to succeed once they are made to understand that their bodies are not bargaining tools and that no gift – Mr Biggs lunch, Prada bag, course grades – can ever be a good enough barter for them.

  43. dream it

    September 3, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Lol very funny women who cannot look after their children themselves this will continue to happen.too many stories here.Mine will be told another day…I rest my case

  44. Chantel

    September 4, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Oh my God!!
    To think this has happened to almost every woman here is just crazy!!
    What r we talking about??it is just plain crazy..my mom’s younger sis n her family moved in wiv us wen I was like 7 years old..her hubby had lost his job and since my house was insanely massive,my mum out of her large heart allowed them to stay at ours-d whole family of 5…I’m 26 now n they r still @ mine even tho my siblings n I av moved on since ..needless to say, my uncle immediately ‘took to me’..God!it was horrible!I’m tearing up now just thinkin bout it…I felt so alone..everyone would be laughin n avg a good time in d living room upstairs or downstairs n all I wanted to do was stab him…I guess I was lucky a bit cuz he never actually penetrated me..but every other thing was fair game!!
    In my consequent relatnships I realize I’ve been following d same trend..doing everything else but not having sex n I almost feel like a liar saying I’m a virgin!!cuz I’ve done every thing else but that!!but u kw wat I found God along d line n I’m healing but I still HATE him God help me!!
    Thank God for good men..I just got into a new relatnship n when I’m just rearing to go not stop @ kissin, my man just calms me down n he says ‘u kw our deal bout no pre-marital sex’??I get frustrated but dat has really helped me…but I still HATE my uncle!
    So I started a movement.. for counselling n sessions for females aged 0-25 n consultation n help-lines for above 25s…its still hush-hush now cuz I need to protect d girls but its going public in Oct..trying to put some safe-guards in place so no one has an inkling who is in.
    Tari thank you for talking bout this n ‘peperenpe’.. Big shame on u!!!
    P.S till date I’ve never been able to say ‘I love you’ to a guy cuz I’ve neva been able to really love someone who’s kissed me but I thank God for ‘D’ – my man..can’t wait to say it to him..still hard but dis is the closest I’ve gotten to saying it n I will!!
    Thanks Tari!!

  45. jennietobbie

    September 5, 2010 at 6:39 am

    hmmm….well done writer

  46. Naijafairy

    September 6, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Wow, just reading these comments, there are way too many people that have been taken advantage of as kids. But, what is the attitude towards sex in Nigeria, the age of consent, do people even realize that there is an age of consent? I feel like in Nigeria we treat sex as a taboo, we don’t talk about it, why? What is so scary about it? We cannot pretend that somehow if we ignore the kids when they tell us about how someone touched them inappropriately, they will forget, no they won’t, sexually arousing them at that age is a profound experience, it might be hidden but when they are of age, they will remember and they will hate their parents for it.
    I am so sorry for all those people who went through this as kids, what i cannot understand is how the government cannot put laws in place that make sure people who molest kids are not just allowed to roam the streets, it is just ridiculous, and i am probably not making any sense but i am so furious because of this.
    I mean, we recognize that young children are going through this, but what can we do t stop this, i seriously think that anyone that molests a child deserves to die, i will do it if no one else does, it is just the most disgusting thing to ever do, finding a child between 2-16 sexually attractive, especially when u are someone they know and think that they can trust is just so selfish, i hope that we can do something to stop this, it is really ridiculous.
    Research shows that some girls who are molested as kids grow up to be sexually defiant or hyper sexual, while i beg to differ, and think that they become less likely to be in successful relationships due to lack of trust, and it breaks my heart to see young women and men who were molested, told to keep quiet and then they have to live like it was thier fault for the rest of thier lives. Bullsh*t

  47. dami

    September 6, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    me and my sister has been a victim, my stupid uncle from my dad’s side told my sis when we were very young (she was about 6 yrs) to sit where his D was and he was doing rubbish and i pretended i was asleep and i saw all it was in the middle of the night and ever since then i hated him and when we relocate to the UK my sis told her frnd then her frnd told her teacher and the teacher told my mum and mum thought my sis was talking about her brother and mum didnt wanna know she beat the hell out of my sister (can you imagine that!!) when i was in nigeria Houseboy sexually abused me and told me that if i say anything he will kill me ah may God continue to punish that idoit, when i came to Uk i thought am free from all tha incident then my so called dad started sexually abused me till i was 18 (from 10 years to 18) when i finally found the courange to tell my mum and guess what up till now (am 23 yrs old) she doesnt believe me and she forced me to carry on like nothing happened and forced me to talk to the so called dad so i have to masked my feelings sometime i wonder if i am adopted one thing i know that i have my God who will and is fighting for me and i also wonder if my dad family are cursed i know for sure that one day he will confess his sins and all what he made me to passed through if he doesnt then he is going to HELL all this crap has affected me in all ways that i cant even trust a man neither can i stay in a relationship for less than 8 months …. it is well oo

    • Naijafairy

      September 6, 2010 at 6:54 pm

      I am so sorry about that, may God continue to help you and your sister heal. Nothing was your fault.

  48. dami

    September 7, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    @ naijafairy thanks i can see why my sister doesn’t like men , she very pretty if a guy likes her or show interest she get very aggressive about it . i Know that God will put a smile back to our face …

  49. forgiveness

    September 10, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Tari thank you…

    I was abused sexually from age 6-14, from drivers to family friends. Growing up in a single parent home,my mum did her very best to be there for us, she worked twice as hard to provide and yes it told on face and one on one time with us. I masked what I will call my ‘shame’ so well because these idiots made me feel like a dirty little slut and promised I would go to hell if I told a soul. Imagine what it was like to be left alone for hours with a driver??? I felt dirty and ashamed of myself because I blamed myself for being ‘attractive’ (afterall all they told me was how pretty I was)
    It didn’t get any better with age,I just seemed to attract paedophiles. And even when I tried to tell someone,guess who was blamed??? ME…I couldn’t even bring myself to tell my mother and uncles/aunty’s (whose friends were of cos never guilty of ‘sexually assaulting’ me) when these molestation continued. I just grew up angry and over compensated in one too many ways….Long story short I wish I could get my childhood back, innocence and all but I can’t . I openly talk about it now because it still beats me why people don’t listen or can’t talk to children about sex/molestation…let them know if uncle/aunty this or that is wrong if they touch or tell u this or that…you will be saving their future not wrecking it like the average Nigerian/African loves to believe. Am a full grown woman who has battled her demons,embraced her sexuality and forgiven everyone who did such evil to me, have also forgiven myself. I look forward to being a parent and I hope and pray I do a better job than my parent/guardians did with me.

    • dami

      September 11, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      amen my dear i know that no sinners will go unpunished …. God is our strength and our pillar it is well with you ….

  50. Dee

    September 17, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I think writing about this, and getting passionate support is the first step. The second step, I would assume is starting a movement, outlining what needs to be done and taking responsibility.

    Being abused 15-20yrs ago, had emotional trauma’s, being abused today has HIV/AIDS potentials. I do not think we should merely comment and close this chapter. Parents need to be educated, children need to be given voice, predators need to be punished. This conversations have started, let someone take leadership of the next steps.

    I am a guy, thankfully, I have never been a predator. I’m a father, have a lovely daughter and could kill for her to have a normal potential full life. If anyone is serious about leading this… you have one supporter already. I think there are pockets of people doing work on this already… I can get some of them into a consortium of some sorts. One can chase 1000, but 2 can put 10,000 to flight.

  51. jay

    September 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    @ dami, my heart goes out to you, i can sense all these has made u kinda bitter, pls dont be.it is well….just let go and let Jesus…….
    well done Tari

  52. Mariamah

    October 13, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I’m a mother, i’m not presuming i know it all, the 1st step i’ve taken since i gave birth to my daughter is to build trust, build a good relationship with her where there is trust and confidence, and she knows she can tell me all and know i’m always there for her. I .suffered abuse wen i was a kid, and i could’t talk, a lot of women were abused and it’s still going on, so i’m looking not to make the same mistake my parent made. The most important thing here is to communicate with love . And most importantly to ask God for guidiance. Another thing is to try and educate them so they know what is acceptable or not.

  53. Another Ifeoma

    October 23, 2010 at 12:20 am

    I was thankful that my 3 yr old child was a boy because I was always terrified that I couldn’t protect a girl from this sewer that we call society. So imagine the heart-splintering pain when my beautiful, big-eyed ,chubby pre-schooler says “mommy, imagine the bad Chidinma told me to put my pee-pee inside her buttocks.When I refused she climbed on me and I didn’t like it.” I died a million times over. I’m a [email protected] mom and even though I was dropping with exhaustion from being almost due,I did everything by myself from bathing my son to cooking, scrubbing floors. So when did this happen? Apparently my naptime was her usual time. I told hubby who told MIL who said my Boo was lying. Now my innocent kid flinches when he sees two ppl hug because ” they are doing that thing Chidinma did to me”. He is now aware of sex and he’s only 3.
    Now, I feel like I have failed at my most important job..mommyhood. I’m paralysed with fear cos I now have a girl.

    I thank God cos as soon as Boo started crech at 18 mths, I would tell him while bathing him that he was to tell me if anyone touched his peepee outside of myself. So it is never to early , just be matter-of-fact and don’t over-explain.

  54. Another Ifeoma

    October 23, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I look @ my baby girl and pray that God will keep watching over my children. All I know for sure is that if I shld have broken the head of my MIL for daring to terrorise my baby. Just because I was trying to be submissive . As for the little witch, I hope she live a long, excruciating life full of misery and suffering. Do I sound bitter? Hell,yes! I have right to be.

  55. Another Ifeoma

    October 23, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Dee,
    Thank you , kind sir for your offer. I’m available if you do get your people together. We need to nip this in the bud while we still can. Contact me on [email protected] whenever it begins to take shape. Viva la resistance and God save our babies!!!

    1
  56. nawa

    November 13, 2010 at 10:47 am

    this issue has been going on from time… and it seems like it is not hidden any more. As I was reading your article I just couldn’t help but remember growing up as a young and naive girl under 10.. Thank GOD that none of it lead to anything.. the story could have been different. I couldn’t tell my parents because I thought I would be blamed…One incident I remember, NEPA has just done its wonders and this man tried to put his hands in my skirt! that I knew was just wrong.. thank god for conviction I ran out of the place we were and in my innocence I told my cousin who was younger (but smarter) than me not to go there and why she shouldnt and she then told the maid who then told my mum who then told my dad and they were not pleased at all! Lets just say that person was dealt with and was never welcomed back into our house. What i know is if I do raise my children in Nigeria when I have them.. I pray God will help me keep an eye on them from those useless predators which sickening thoughts.

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