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The Sad Plight of a 10 Year-Old Girl

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There are several adverse consequences of child sexual abuse; several reasons why parents, guardians, the family and the society must protect young children from the scourge.

Studies have shown that children who are abused sexually can suffer a range of psychological and behavioral problems, from mild to severe, in both the short and long term. These problems typically include depression, anxiety, guilt, fear, sexual dysfunction, withdrawal, and acting out. Depending on the severity of the incident, victims of sexual abuse may also develop fear and anxiety regarding the opposite sex or sexual issues and may display inappropriate sexual behavior. However, the strongest indication that a child has been sexually abused is inappropriate sexual knowledge, sexual interest, and sexual acting out by that child.

The story of a 10-year old girl, a victim of sexual abuse who revealed recently that she cannot do without having sex with men daily is both sad and shocking.

She was sexually abused at the age of 7 by an old man who was her neighbour at Mile 12, Lagos State. The man whom she called Baba lived with her Aunt in the same compound.

The Primary Two pupil confessed that if she did not see any man to have sex with her in her area, she would go to a popular under bridge at Mile 12 Lagos and beg for sex from touts.

She came from Enugu state to live with her aunt in Lagos after the death of her father. She said the man (Baba) usually called her to his apartment whenever his wife and her aunt were not around and will put his finger inside her private part.

“He will tell me to come back home immediately our school closes and when I reach home he will be waiting for me to finger my vagina,”
she narrated.

She said with time he started having real sex with her.

After the man man moved out of their area, she resorted to meeting other men in the area without her aunt knowing. She said she has become addicted to sex and cannot do without it.

“When I desire sex and I do not see anybody to do it in my area, I will go under the bridge and beg the touts to do it for me,” she said.

The young girl’s teacher who noticed some abnormal behavior in the girl was able to get her to admit to her problem. The teacher contacted her aunt who contacted an NGO for assistance. Community Health Support and Empowerment Initiative, COHSAEI, has now taken up the challenge to rehabilitate her.

The programme coordinator of the NGO, Mrs. Priscilla Ingbia, noted that her case was very pathetic because of her age. She said her group took up the challenge to rehabilitate her because it was clear if nothing was done urgently her future was in danger. She said her organisation has started the process of rehabilitating her by carrying out series of tests on her to ascertain her health conditions.

It is hoped that this young girl would find some kind of solution to her plight and find the much needed succor. She is really too young to go through such stuff.

What can be done to prevent sexual abuse of children in the society? What signs should parents and guardians look out for in their children at all times? What steps can be taken to rehabilitate this young girl?

Please share your thoughts.

News Source: PM News
Research Credit: American Psychological Association

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

38 Comments

  1. Redcarpetgoat

    June 1, 2012 at 11:34 am

    this is pathetic and disgusting…what a wicked world!
    Mothers and parents…this is your wake-up call.

    • stanley

      June 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      please the old man should bve looked for and taken security measures on cause i believe he will continue to direct othe ryounger ladies he meet whereever he noe stays in danger pls he should be found and brough to book immediately

  2. Mariam

    June 1, 2012 at 11:37 am

    In my opinion, parents should try and be open with their kids about sex,rape,etc. Education is key, if they are at a point where they understand and know then I don’t see why parents would shy away from the topic. Whether we like it or not, sex is here to stay as well as other negatives about sex. It cannot be avoided! Most schools don’t take up sex education so must of the work is obviously on the parents. It may be uncomfortable at first but I’d rather talk it out with my kids and know they are safe than to walk away from such issues. There should be severe jail time for these perpetrators as well. Really, we need change in our society and it starts with us as individuals.

  3. BIMBY

    June 1, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Dis story almost gave me a mild attack when I 1st read it from another source dis morning. What has dis world turned into? It would be a miracle if dis girl is HIV negative. She needs rehabilitation and deliverance. Its so sad and appalling. May God save our younger ones 4rm perverts. I pary taht God visits her and make her whole again. God bless Community Health Support and Empowerment Initiative, COHSAEI.

  4. BIMBY

    June 1, 2012 at 11:40 am

    *pray that*

  5. a

    June 1, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Is there any need to publish the picture of the girl? (I don’t think that is it sufficient that her eyes have been blurred out). Victims of such henious crimes, especially when they are children should be protected. There is no need for us to see her face or have an inkling as to what she looks like.
    I pray that she is fully rehabilitated and completely restored. She is very young, and has her whole life ahead of her, and I pray that this does not hold her back in any way. I pray that she fully overcomes the abuse that she has suffered, rises above all the circumstances in her life, and grows to be a strong and successful woman in all areas of her life.

  6. aby

    June 1, 2012 at 11:59 am

    wake up call for parents and guardian.
    God keep our children

  7. Gidi

    June 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Selah!!!

    • Gidi

      June 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      I am surprised that folks can type epistles on this topic. I am completely dumbfounded and flabbergasted. I am just pondering the ramifications of the effect of modern society on family life. The end is near.

  8. philip

    June 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    is she possessed or what?

    • Africhic

      June 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      Are you stupid or what?

    • Ephee

      June 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      perfect answer

    • AnotherIfy

      June 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      You are obviously a paedophile yourself. Chicken-shit moron! You should drop dead for even thinking that thought! Idiot of your kind!!!!!!

  9. Abs

    June 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    say wht? Omg! 10 yrs? too sad.

    http://www.abadawoode.blogspot.com

  10. LPS

    June 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Sad!!!That man should be arrested
    http://personalstuvs.blogspot.com

  11. Evann

    June 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I guess the 11yr old abuusing a 4yr old boy in d video dat was circulating last month on bbm is also a victim of sexual abuse.

    • Nike

      June 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      ddddduuuuuuhhhhhhh!!!!!

  12. garbie

    June 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    This is so sad but d truth can’t b hidden anymore,it even happens btw siblings jes like *mariam said d parents av a whole lot to do.dere shud b enlightenment to d masses whc wud cub such future occurences n sanctions shud be dooled out to d culprits

  13. Winifred

    June 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    It’s sad that the law does not punish men that do these things sufficiently! These kind of crimes should attract nothing less than 25yrs to life. I would have liked to add death penalty but am against death penalty for any crime

  14. ayo la

    June 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    And let us know that this trend is also happening among/ especially among the middle/upper class. We as parents should not only enlighten and talk to our kids about sex, and sexual predators. But we should also not over expose dem. With mothers buying makeup and brazilian weaves for their 12yr olds, I don’t know what they are trying to teach them with those nonsense. The otherr day on twitter a secondary school student said her vagina was scratching her. Can you imagine the boldness? We have to be vigilant and stop trying to be cool parents and just be parents

  15. bella

    June 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    In Nigeria i think 7 out of 10 girls are abused either by their uncles half brothers cousins fathers friends sometimes their own fathers. Mothers need to be sensitive and careful especially when they have male extended familymembers living with them. I think i ll go as far as putting cameras(funny right). But i cant let history repeat itself.

    • Africhic

      June 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Mothers abuse their sons as well as Aunties, House girls etc….Parents should watch their children

  16. Bee

    June 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    How? Why? What the Heck? Addicted at the age of 10? I pray she hasnt caught anything yet with the way she says she finds touts to sort her out. Good Grief…May God really put in work for this girl mehn. I feel sorry for her.

  17. FAB

    June 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Sexual abuse happens can happen to anyone regardless of what class or social strata you are from, no matter what religion no matter what sex or colour!!! This is by far a new trend Sexual Abuse has been going on since forever!!! In most cases NO PARENT AND I MEAN NOOOOO PARENT is responsible for their child being Abused!!! Unless they have literally handed them over to be abused or into prostitution!!!! WHY DO PEOPLE ALWAYS BLAME THE PARENTS ESPECIALLY AFRICANS!!???? WHO WANTS THEIR CHILD TO BE ABUSED UNLESS A SICKOOO!!! In most cases you may or may not be surprised but most abuse is done by a very trusting close family memeber or friend!!!!!! OVER EXPOSURE OOO OR UNDER EXPOSURE OOO ALL NA THE GRACE OF GOD!!! When those parents sent their children to Nursery how would they ever know that the teacher (a female) was molesting the children! do you remeber that case a few years ago i England???? Basically i am soooo fed up of AFRICANS pointing the finger at parents or saying it is a class or poverty thing! Sexuall abuse happens because there is some sick people on this earth SIMPLE!!!!!! and it is only by the grace of GOD!! HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO PROTECTS OUR CHILDREN!! All i say is let children be children make them aware of things in an age apropriate manner! When us as black people think role modles like Rihanna and co are suitable for children under 13 you need to think again!!! If we as parents think children doin those cute Rihanna and co dances are cute we need to think again! Now society thinks it is okay for children to dress in mini’s and bum shorts and belly tops we need to think again!! WE AS A SOCIETY NEED TO WISEN UP AS TO WHAT IS REALLY ACCEPTABLE FOR CHILDREN TO WATCH AND NOT SUCUMB TO PEAR PRESSURE COS WE THINK IT LOOKS CUTE!! IN MY HOUSE ALL POP VIDEO STATIONS ARE BANNNED!!!

    • the Injustice society called Nigeria....

      June 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      ALL THIS BULL….YOU JUST TYPED IS ABSOLUTELY NONSENSICAL!!1….YOU JUST MADE ME VERY ANNOYED WITH THIS CRAP!!….ITS CALLED COMMUNICATION!…as a parent you bring a child into the world, you have a responsibility to guide them….just being a sperm/egg donor is not enough….if you have good communication with your kids they would not be afraid to tell you anything….most abuse victims…didnt tell anyone or their parents because they were scared, lack of communication or if they finally did their so called parents called them a liar!…..look its not just AFRICANS……even in the west they always advice the parents of the victims to be vigilant…….AS A VICTIM YOU HAVE JUST ANNOYED ME….AND I HOPE YOU DO NOT BECOME A PARENT….BECAUSE IF YOU DO, YOU WOULD BE IRRESPONSIBLE……IF YOU END UP HAVING ….I PRAY YOU WOULD HAVE WISDOM BY THEN….HEAVEN HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES……YOU WOULD TELL ME WHETHER THE GOD THAT GAVE YOU A CHILD, SHOULD ALSO COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN TO TAKE CARE OF HIM/HER……I am not saying that its all the parents fault…but YES parents do have a hand/task to educate and be there/ notice the signs in their kids..

    • CAC

      June 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      I agree with you. I also think that because Nigeria is such a chuvinist country, male paedophiles almost always get away with their atrocious act. I spent just a little over a decade in Nigeria and during that time, I was sexually abused before I got to the age of 11. My mother was rarely ever home and never saw it necessary to educate us about sex. My father was abroad. Today, I no longer live in Nigeria and have no intentions of doing so again. I also do not intend to get married because I don’t enjoy sex and the idea of someone sticking a foreign object inside my body causes me immense anxiety. Since God took me out of Nigeria, I don’t have to worry about the stigma women go through in Nigeria for being unmarried. Living in Nigeria for an extended period of time as a child was the worst thing that could have ever happened to me. Never again do I want to live in that country again and God will continue to purnish a society such as Nigeria who allow child sexual abuse and rape to go on rampantly without any severe repercussions for the perpetrator of the crime.

    • FAB

      June 4, 2012 at 8:20 am

      You Have misunderstood me and i am a parent of four lovely children with who i am very close and i have left the doors open where me and my children have a free flow of communication! and i believe they tell me everything and as a mother of 2 girls who have started their period i do talk openly about sex the pit falls and dangers also about safe sex and growing up i made them aware of sexual abuse and to all ways tell me if they were touched inappropriately. Because being abused myself as a child by family memebers who were real close i know how it feels. And my mother was a fantastic mother brough me and my siblings up well and when this happened to me i felt free safe and secure to tell my parents not just my mother! I do stick by my words that no parent is to blame for their child being abused unless they are the abuser or handing them over to be or letting them be abused!

    • the Injustice society called Nigeria....

      June 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      But i do agree with you about the pop videos….and our kids taking this vulgar artist as role models…..that i would give to you…….excuse my rant …but yh …

    • Duchess

      June 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      if your kids don’t watch pop videos in your house, they will watch it in their friend’s place and u’ll never know…explain to your kids why you dont want them to be watching stuffs so that wen they get outside n interact(be it in school or church) they will stand on whatever they are being taught at home AND back it up ril good…kids, teenagers n even adults r all susceptible to peer pressure so handle them right….as for ur issue about only blacks pointing fingers at parents, revise it cos it’s universal….besides, some parents can be blamed, like you said no parent wants their child to be abused but some parents neglect their kids in the name of a career; d maid showers the kids, makes their breakfast, dress them up, hands them directly to the driver who takes them to school, d driver brings them back home, the maid feeds them, the kids are left on their own to do their homework, they shower, watch tv n go to bed and through this day, these kids havent said a word to their parents other than ‘goodmorning’….if mothers do not cultivate the habit of talking to their kids, being their confidante and all, these kids will never tell you anything….they wont hv the courage to walk up to their mums n say ‘this uncle did this’ or ‘this boy in my class did this’..instead they will be so scared that their mums will rain down fire and brimstone on their heads and they(mothers) will do nothing or say anything to the perpetrator of this evil act….information is important. education is vital. parents should talk to their kids and endeavor to be close and open to them…and after that God will definitely handle the rest but cant expect God to do our roles as parents and still do his own as God…these kids were and are given to us by God so it is the responsibility of parents for whatever that happens to their kids…God don bless us give us the pikin wey we beg am for, now we have to do our part as parents and work hand in hand with Him…He told Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree at the center of the garden and told him WHY he should not, when Adam disobeyed he knew EXACTLY what the consequences were….Let’s learn from this!

    • Sandi

      June 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      Are you so stupid to not know that even parents abuse their own kids?? I can’t even stomach the rest of your statement. Please don’t desire to have children and I pray God have mercy and not grant you any.

  18. mcclaren michael

    June 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    the guardian or parents shoud be blame. no one cares abt our children anymore on hw they look or behave God help us

  19. Sister Social Worker

    June 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I’m not shocked at all. As part of my role as a social worker in England, I have seen worse. It’s a shame that the welfare/social services do not exist in Nigeria. I hope the people that work in the NGO are trained cuz I don’t know why they are shocked. I also hope there are resources in Nigeria to help children that have been sexually abused.
    Most parents/guardian/carers are usually shocked when they are informed. The truth is, they haven’t done their job in educating their children about sexual abuse/emotional abuse, etc. Also, monitoring and supervising their children. People that abuse children, molest children, they don’t write it on their forehead that they are rapers/molesters, etc. They are usually our relatives, uncles, aunties, housegirl (a close friend of mine told me that their housegirl told him to lie on top of her when he was about 6 years old. The girl was naked and she said he shud play with her, imagine?, sometimes we think it is only men that abuse, u will be surprised). As we are aware, this generation are more even more exposed to sexual images, a lot needs to be done practically. Prayer helps but prayer is not enough.

    • Mee

      June 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      Seriously dear, the social system is non-existent and the NGO, i doubt if they have strong background on how to handle this case

    • Gidi

      June 2, 2012 at 10:53 am

      That NGO angle is my biggest worry in this case.
      I dealt with one in a similar case after a few phone calls, i just gave up. they could barely tell a coherent story.

  20. word

    June 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    N who says parents aint to blame. Almost everytime an abuse is exposed, the caretaker of d child, in retrospection, admits to some level of negligence. Also communication with ur child is key. Gist wit ur children, be open with them, dont shut them up, don’t be too tired or busy to monitor or listen. Sexual abuse is hardly perpetrated by an outsider. Its usually d trusted ones dt r d predators. Work makes it difficult, but we must try. Teach ur child to talk, tell someone, not to keep quite. Let’s teach our children the truth abt dz things n nuture them to b bold to speak out…teach them that there’s nothing to hide if someone says or does something wrong to them. I startd communicating with my daughter abt dz things in very simple terms when she was abt 2&half. She’s 3&half now n iv taught her dt her bumbum & vagina r forbidden zones. I’m training her to speak out…there’s nothing she shldnt be able to tell someone (online realtime…lol). I was abused as a child…so I have a fair understanding of d dynamics of child abuse. Above all let’s pray for our children.

  21. Audrey

    June 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    @ CAC yours is a sad story. please seek help. Don’t allow that pervert,who is probably enjoying his life right now,hold you back from enjoying yours. You owe it to yourself. And please start with God.

  22. Sister Social Worker

    June 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Let me answer your question about signs and symptoms to watch out for:

    Signs and symptoms
    Being overly affectionate or knowledgeable in a sexual way inappropriate to the child’s age
    Medical problems such as chronic itching, pain in the genitals, venereal diseases
    Other extreme reactions, such as depression, self-mutilation, suicide attempts, running away, overdoses, anorexia
    Personality changes such as becoming insecure or clinging
    Regressing to younger behaviour patterns such as thumb sucking or bringing out discarded cuddly toys
    Sudden loss of appetite or compulsive eating
    Being isolated or withdrawn
    Inability to concentrate
    Lack of trust or fear of someone they know well, such as not wanting to be alone with a babysitter or child minder
    Starting to wet again, day or night/nightmares
    Become worried about clothing being removed
    Suddenly drawing sexually explicit pictures
    Trying to be ‘ultra-good’ or perfect; overreacting to criticism.
    Wanting to have sex with others.
    Dressing inappropriately for their age.

    How to work with the girl:
    The young girl must be listened to.
    Don’t make any assumption for her neither should you judge her (allow her to share her stories, this should not be rushed, it should be done within 1-6months). The child might not share everything at the start, whilst you are working with her, she will gradually share.
    Whilst she is telling her account, ensure it is informal. Don’t sit her down like it is an interview. Ask her questions while engaging in an activity with her.
    Also, ensure she is examined by a female doctor (not a male doctor).
    Ensure that while you are working with her, she is not around males given that she displays sexually behaviour already and she might want to have sex with the males irrespective of their age.
    The support that she requires is long term support as it would have affected her emotionally, psychologically socially and physically. It will take a while for her to be able to respect her body.
    In western countries, we tend to refer children who have been abused to counselling, therapies, etc.
    But for Nigeria, I will suggest that:
    Provide a safe release of feelings (ensure the environment where she will be is safe, ensure the person that would work with her has the capacity to deal with such case, educate yourself about impact of sexual abuse on the child/families). Engage her in creative activities (tell her to draw how she feels).
    Overcoming negative and potentially self-destructive behaviour (start discussing with the child about positive sexual behaviour negative sexual behaviour, tell the children the reasons why some points are categorised as positive, hear her responses as well).
    Helping the child understand what part of her thinking has been affected by the abuse and helping her correct those distortions
    Helping the child overcome self-blame and self-hatred
    Helping the child build a sense of trust in herself and in a positive future
    Enabling the child to gain a sense of perspective about the abuse and to gain the emotional distance necessary to keep the trauma from hurting her in the future
    Supporting the child as she comes to terms with her own sexuality, including good feelings surrounding sexual behaviors and the ability to discriminate healthy sexuality from abuse.
    Finally, I will advice that the child does not return to her aunty’s place till about 2 years for reunification. She should live with a different family. She must not be kept in isolation. My preference will be for her to be in a household full of girls for a start. And perhaps older girls (that could educate her as well).

    It is an intensive piece of work. I don’t know how much/the time that the NGOs want to invest in this. This should be a state work but I don’t know if social workers exist in Nigeria.

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